Skip to main content

Full text of "Letters from the Peninsula, 1808-1812"

See other formats


! C7> 

1 °" o 

1 ^ " o 

1 '" *T 

1 5 CO 

- > r^ 

= t— 





Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



^Jrtmvthe mlnltvtiore, by c j .(>. / C>n ale-heart, 
irv the hotee&Horv o-fthe Ssveu. £>cuion ,CUasre, 





C.B., K.T.S. 




^ .«, 





Some years before his death in 1875, mv father 
entrusted to me a packet containing letters written 
by his eldest brother, my uncle, Sir William Warre, 
from the Peninsula during his service there from 
1808 to 1812. 

The packet was not opened by me until the 
year 1908. 

The letters, on perusal, seemed to be of interest, 
as giving a graphic description of the life and 
opinions of an officer serving on the Staff during 
the Peninsular War, and, in particular, of one 
immediately concerned in the organisation of the 
Portuguese army. 

Moreover, the letters, which are written on the 
spot and without reserve, being chiefly addressed to 
his father or mother, seem to reflect in some 
measure, as regards the campaign, and as to home 
politics, to which there are plentiful allusions, the 
conversation and opinions of the Headquarters' Staff 
at the time ; and further, the intimate acquaintance 
of the writer with the Portuguese character, and 
with the methods of the Portuguese Government, 
enhances the illustration of the difficulties which 


had to be overcome in the effort of Great Britain to 
save her ally from the crushing yoke of French 
imperial despotism. 

Mr James Warre of Oporto, the father of Sir 
William Warre, was a man of great ability, and of 
influence both in Portugal and at home. He was a 
partner in the firm of Warre & Co., which was at 
the time one of the leading commercial houses in 
Oporto — an old firm, established in the seventeenth 
century — with which, however, the family connection 
was severed at the death of Sir William Warre's 
brother George, in the year 1850. 

The letters themselves, considering the circum- 
stances under which they were written, are very 
fairly legible ; but in places there are lacuna which 
are sometimes difficult to fill up. The orthography 
is not at all consistent — often old-fashioned, some- 
times faulty. I have corrected it in some places, 
but in many have left it as in the original. 

I cannot claim to have any particular knowledge 
of military history, and, as regards the brief intro- 
ductions to the several chapters, wish to acknow- 
ledge in limine my indebtedness to Napier's great 
work, to Professor Oman's three most interesting 
volumes, which bring the story of the war down to 
1 8 10, and to Sir Herbert Maxwell's Life of the 
Duke of Wellington. 

I am indebted also to my cousin, Mr George 
Warre, for help in translating the Portuguese words 
and phrases that occur in the letters. 

My thanks are also due to my cousin, Mrs Wm. 


Rathbone, for kindly allowing me to use several of 
the collection of family letters in her possession, 
extracts from which help to fill up some of the gaps 
in the correspondence. 

Lastly, I must acknowledge my debt of gratitude 
to my friend and publisher, Mr John Murray, for his 
most valuable help in many ways. Without his 
assistance, the map which illustrates the volume 
could not have been constructed. 


Finch ampstead, 1909. 




Portsmouth, May 22 

H.M.S. Resistance^ St Helens, May 24 

Cove, June 8 

Cove, June 17 . 

Cove, June 22 

Cove, June 27 . . . 









Porto Roads, July 25 .... 


Off Ovar, Monday evening, July 25 


Camp, Lavos, near Figueira, Aug. 8 . . . 


Lourinhao, 12 miles south of Peniche, Aug. 19 . 


Vimiero, Aug. 22 . 


Buenos Ayres, Lisbon, Sept. 27 . 


Lisbon, Sept. 29 . 



Avanilla, near Sahagun, 5! leagues from Saldana, half-past 

5 p.m., Dec. 23, 1808 . . . . . .46 

Sobrado, between Lugo and St Jago, Jan. 4, 1809 . . 48 



Barfieur, at sea, Jan. 18 

Plymouth, Jan. 23 . 

Lisbon, March 3 . 

Lisbon, April 1 

Undated (?) April 7 

Headquarters, Thomar, April 27 

Lisbon, July 13 — arrived Aug. 24, per Colonel Brown 

Lacebo, Aug. 10 — Los Hoyos, Aug. 13 . 

Salvaterra, Aug. 18 — Castello Branco, Aug. 20 . 

Headquarters, Lisbon, Sept. 6 

Headquarters, Lisbon, Sept. 11 

Lisbon, Sept. 25 

Lisbon, Oct. 10 

Lisbon, Oct. 26 

Lisbon, Oct. 26 

Lisbon, Dec. 1 

Thomar, Dec. 31 







Lisbon, Feb. 6 ...... 104 

Lisbon, Feb. 17 . . . . . .108 

Lisbon, March 10 . . . . . . .112 

Coimbra, March 21 . . . . . .115 

Coimbra, March 30 . . . . . .117 

Headquarters, Mango Aide, May 3 . . . .119 

Fornos d'Algodres, May 9 (extract from letter to Sister) . 123 

Headquarters, Fornos d'Algodres, May 15 . . .125 

Headquarters, Fornos d'Algodres, May 23 . . .130 

Extract (London, June 20), Fornos, June 6 . . .132 

Extract (Hendon, July 8), Fornos, June 13 . . 133 

Headquarters, Fornos d'Algodres, June 20 . . .134 

Headquarters, P. A., Francoso, near Pinhel, June 27 . 137 

Francoso, July 9 . . . . . . .139 

Francoso, July 10 . . . . . . .151 

Francoso, July 25 . . . . . . .154 

Lagiosa, Aug. 8 . . . . . .156 

Lagiosa, Aug. 22 . . . . . . .158 

Lagiosa, Aug. 29 . . . . . . .162 

Lagiosa, Aug. 29, 6 P.M. . . . . . .166 

Hendon Place, Oct. 2 . . . . . .167 

Hendon Place, Oct. 16 (extract, news of Bussaco, Sept. 27) . 168 

Hendon Place, Oct. 25 (referring to letter Oct. 6) . . 169 



Headquarters, P.A., Casal Eschin, a mile to the eastward of 

Enxara dos Cavaleiros, 5 leagues from Lisbon, Oct. 20 . 171 
Extract, Falmouth, Nov. 14 . . . . .175 

Extract, Honiton, Nov. 18 . . . . .177 



Portsmouth, May 5 
Portsmouth, May 7 
Portsmouth, May 9 
Headquarters, St Olaia, June 20 
Headquarters, St Olaia, June 27 
Headquarters, St Olaia, July 1 
Lisbon, July 5 
Lisbon, Aug. 2 
C intra, Aug. 17 
Cintra, Aug. 23 
Cintra, Sept. 7 
Lisbon, Oct. 17 
Lisbon, Nov. 23 
Lisbon, Nov. 30 
Lisbon, Dec. 6 
Lisbon, Dec. 14 






January to September 

Torres Novas, Jan. 4 

Coimbra, Jan. 10 . 

Galegos, Jan. 20 . 

Elvas, March 18 . 

Elvas, March 6, extract 

Camp before Badajos, March 20 . 

Camp before Badajos, March 29 — (April 3), extract 

Camp before Badajos, April 2 . 

Badajos Camp, April 7 . . 

Camp before Badajos, April 10 . 

Nava, on the road between Sabugal and Alfaiates, April 24 

Fuente Guinaldo, May 20, extract 




Fuente Guinaldo, May 28 . 


Salamanca, June 17 


Salamanca, June 25 


Villa Escusa, Province of Toro, June 30 


La Seca, Province of Valladolid, July 7 


La Seca, July 10, extract . 


La Seca, July 13 . 


Salamanca, July 24 


Salamanca, July 27 . . . 


Salamanca, Aug 29, extract 


(?) Salamanca, Sept. 2, extract 










































French Conquest of Portugal. 

Junot occupies Lisbon. 

Portuguese Royal Family fly to Brazil. 

Napoleon makes Joseph Buonaparte King of Spain. 

Outbreak of Spanish insurrection. 

French invade Valencia and Andalusia. 

Siege of Saragossa. 

Battle of Medina del Rio Seco. 

Capitulation of Baylen. 

Landing of British army in Portugal. 

Combat of Rolica. 

Battle of Vimiero. 

Convention of Cintra. 

Napoleon's invasion of Spain. 

Sir John Moore takes command of British troops in 

Moore at Salamanca. 

Battle of Tudela. Spaniards defeated. 

Napoleon arrives at Madrid. 

Soult with 15,000 men at Saldana. 

Moore reaches Mayorga ; junction with Baird. 

Combat of Sahagun. 

Napoleon's pursuit of Moore begins. 

Avanilla, near Sahagun, 5^ leagues from Saldana, 
half-past 5 p.m. — orders to march on Saldana, 
6 p.m. ; news received about 7 P.M. of Napoleon's 
advance ; Moore resolves on and orders retreat. 




Napoleon leaves the pursuit to Soult and returns to 


Jan. 2. 






Feb. 20. 
Feb. (end). 
March (early). 
March 10-20. 

„ 29. 
April 22. 
May 12-22. 


July 27-28. 
Aug. 4. 
Oct. 18. 
Nov. 19. 
is 29. 

Retreat of Sir John Moore's army continued. 


Villa Franca. 

Rearguard finds army at Lugo in position. 

Lugo evacuated. 


Corunna — no transports. 

Transports arrive. 

Battle of Corunna. 

Embarkation completed. 

H.M.S. Barfieur sails from Corunna. 

Arrives Plymouth. 

Fall of Saragossa. 

Beresford appointed to command Portuguese army. 

Beresford arrives at Lisbon. 

Soult's operations in Portugal ; capture of Oporto. 

Battle of Medellin — Spaniards defeated. 

Sir A. Wellesley arrives in Lisbon. 

Oporto retaken ; Soult's retreat to Orense and 

Advance of British army from Abrantes. 
Battle of Talavera. 
Wellesley retires on Badajos. 
Battle of Tamames — French defeated. 
Battle of Ocana — Spaniards defeated. 
Battle of Alba de Tormes — Spaniards defeated. 

1 8 10. 

Jan. and Feb. 
Feb. 1. 

„ 12. 
March to \ 

April 22. J 
May to July 9. 
July 24. 
July to Aug. 27. 
Sept. 16. 

» 27. 
Oct. 1-9. 

Oct. to Nov. 
Nov. 14. 
Dec. 21. 

Lord Wellington retires into Portugal. 

The French invade Andalusia. 

King Joseph enters Seville. 

Siege of Cadiz. 

Badajos summoned by Mortier. 

Siege of Astorga. 

Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. 

Combat of the Coa. 

Siege of Almeida. 

Massena advances into Portugal. 

Battle of Bussaco. 

Wellington retires within the lines of Torres 

Massena before the lines. 
Massena retreats to Santarem. 
Soult moves northward to support Massena. 




Jan. 27. 

March 5. 



























June 12. 











Jan. 8. 

» 19. 
March 16. 
April 6-7. 
May 18. 
June 17. 

» 27. 
July 22. 
Aug. 12. 

Soult invests Badajos. 

Massena leaves Santarem. 

Surrender of Badajos ; Soult returns to the South. 

Foz dAronce. 

The Allies take Guarda. 

Combat of Sabugal. 

Massena leaves Portugal. 

Wellington to the Alemtejo. 

Massena resumes the offensive. 

Beresford lays siege to Badajos. 

Battle of Fuentes d'Onoro. 

Massena retreats ; is removed from command. 

Brennier escapes with garrison from Almeida. 

Soult raises the siege of Badajos. 

Battle of Albuera. 

King Joseph leaves Madrid. 

Marmont takes command of the army of Portugal. 

Reinvestment of Badajos. 

Siege raised the second time. 

The French retire from Estremadura. 

Wellington blockades Ciudad Rodrigo. 

Marmont advances to relieve Ciudad Rodrigo. 

Action at El Bodon. 

The Allies retreat, and take up position covering the 

line of the Coa. 
The French withdrawal — Marmont to Talavera, 

Dorsenne to Salamanca. 
Ciudad Rodrigo again invested. 
The British army goes into cantonments on the Coa. 
Marmont concentrates near Toledo. 

Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. 

Taking of Ciudad Rodrigo by storm. 

Siege of Badajos. 

Taking of Badajos. 

Hill destroys bridge at Almaraz. 

Wellington advances into Castille. 

Allies enter Salamanca. 

Forts at Salamanca taken. 

Battle of Salamanca — Beresford severely wounded/ 

Allies enter Madrid. 

Siege of Burgos. 

Retreat from Burgos. 

Winter quarters near Ciudad Rodrigo. 



William Warre, the subject of this Memoir, was the 
eldest son of James Warre of Oporto, and Eleanor, nte 
Greg, his wife. He was born at Oporto, 15th April 1784, 
and spent most of his childhood there. He was sent to 
Harrow, but seems to have left early, and to have been 
placed in the office of Messrs Warre & Co., of which 
his uncle, William Warre, was the senior partner, in order 
that he might learn the business which both his uncle 
and his father desired him to follow. 

But his own strong wish was to be a soldier, and, as 
it turned out, a piece of mischief achieved that which 
arguments and entreaties had failed to obtain. One day 
in the office, when letters had to be got ready for the 
mail, the duty of sealing them, in which, after the fashion 
of the day much wax, red or black, was consumed, 
devolved upon the young clerk, who, observing that 
the pigtail of Pedro Alves, the Portuguese member of 
the firm, had lapped over to his side of the desk, while 
the old gentleman was enjoying a peaceful post-prandial 
slumber, felt moved to play a practical joke, which had 
momentous consequences. He poured the red wax upon 
the ribbon of the pigtail, fastening it to the desk, sealed 
it with the seal of the firm, and fled. Great was the 
wrath that ensued. No apologies could be accepted. 
It was the end of his commercial career. 


He was then sent to a private tutor at Bonn to learn 
foreign languages, and to prepare for the Army. On the 
breaking out of the war between France and Austria, he 
and another fellow-student joined the Austrians, and went 
out, as they said, to see the fun. As luck would have it, 
they were taken prisoners in a skirmish, and were 
brought before General Custine, who commanded the 
French force in the neighbourhood. Custine, seeing that 
they were English and mere boys, scolded them and 
told them that it was very lucky for them that Marshal 
Davoust had not arrived to take over the command, 
" for," said he, " he would have hanged you without mercy 
on the nearest tree. Now go back to your books and 
your tutor, and don't meddle with affairs which do not 
concern you." 

Shortly after this William Warre was sent back to 
England, and on the 5th November 1803, when he was 
19 years of age, received his commission in the 52nd 
Light Infantry, then under the command of Sir John 
Moore. He served with the 52nd till 25th April 1805, 
when he was promoted Lieutenant in the 98th, which 
was then in Canada. He did not, however, proceed 
thither, having purchased promotion as Captain in the 
23rd Dragoons. 

He served with this regiment in Ireland until the 
summer of 1807, when he was sent to the Royal Military 
College, then established at High Wycombe, to study 
for Staff employment. 

In 1808 General Ferguson selected him as A.D.C., and 
took him with him to Portugal. There he was present at 
the combat of Rolica, and at the Battle of Vimeiro, both 
of which are described in his letters. His health gave 
way under the hardships of this campaign, and he was 
detained ill at Lisbon for several months. His knowledge 


of the Portuguese language enhanced the value of his 
services, and after his recovery, General Ferguson having 
returned to England, he was attached by General 
Beresford to his personal staff, and served with him as 
his principal A.D.C. until the year 1812. 

Captain Warre took part in Sir John Moore's retreat 
and, with General Beresford, was the last to embark after 
the Battle of Corunna, 16th January 1809. 

In March 1809, Beresford, with the rank of Field- 
Marshal, was placed in chief command of the Portuguese 
Army, and employed Captain Warre, his A.D.C., in the 
organisation of the national troops. He entered the 
Portuguese service and was promoted therein to the 
rank of Major, and appointed first A.D.C. to the Field- 

After the passage of the Douro, May 1809, Major Warre 
was sent forward by Beresford to raise the armed peasantry 
in the province of Minho, with a view to harassing the 
French forces under Marshal Soult, which were then in 
full retreat. He succeeded in getting the peasantry to 
dismantle the bridges of Ponte Nova and the Saltador, 
but could not get them to destroy their own means of 
communication. Had this been done the French army 
was lost. The delay, however, caused by the necessity 
of forcing and repairing the bridges, cost the French 
the loss of many men and horses, 1 and of most of the 
spoil they were carrying off from Oporto. Unfortunately 
the letters in which these operations were described are 
wanting. But for the rest of the long campaign up 
to the battle of Salamanca, with the exception of Talavera, 
when he was with Beresford in Portugal, and of Albuera, 
and Bussaco, from which he was absent through illness, his 
letters are fairly consecutive comments of an actor in 

1 See Oman, vol. ii., pp. 355-9. 


the events which occurred during that period of heroic 

On 30th May 181 1 he was promoted by Brevet to 
the rank of Major in the English Army, and to that of 
Lieutenant-Colonel in the Portuguese Army. At the 
last siege of Badajos, he was the senior Staff Officer at 
the summons of Fort Christobal, and had the honour of 
taking prisoners the Generals Philippon and Weyland, 
who surrendered their swords to him. 

In the battle of Salamanca, 1812, he was with his chief, 
Marshal Beresford, when the latter was severely wounded, 
and, as narrated in the letters, carried him into the town, 
nursed him through his illness, and went with him to 

In 1 81 3 Major Warre was promoted to the rank of 
Lieutenant-Colonel in the English Army, and resigned 
his commission in the Portuguese Army. He received 
from the King of Portugal medals for his conduct at 
Vimeiro, at the siege and assault of Ciudad Rodrigo, and 
for the two sieges of Badajos, also a medal for the four 
campaigns. He was also made a Knight of the Order of 
the Tower and Sword, and of the Order of St Bento 

In 1 81 3 he was sent to the Cape of Good Hope, where 
he was appointed Q.M.G., a post which he held till 18 19. 

In November 1812 he had married Selina, youngest 
daughter of Christopher Maling of West Herrington and 
Hillton, in the county of Durham. By her he had a 
family of three sons and two daughters. His youngest 
son, Henry, born 18 19 at the Cape, was afterwards 
General Sir Henry Warre, K.C.B. His wife died 
3rd February 1821. 

In November 1820 he returned to England, and in 
1821, by reason of ill-health, went on half-pay. 


In May 1823 he was appointed A.Q.M.G. in 
Ireland, and in 1826 was transferred to a similar appoint- 
ment in England. In 1 826-1 827 he served on the 
Staff of the Army sent to Lisbon under the command of 
Sir William Clinton, G.C.B. 

On 22nd July 1830 he became a full Colonel. He 
served again on the Staff in Ireland till 1836, when he was 
appointed to the command at Chatham. He held this 
appointment till his promotion to the rank of Major- 
General 23rd November 1841. It was during his com- 
mand that the Review took place which is immortalised 
by Dickens in Pickwick. He was made C.B., and was 
Knighted in 1839. In 1842 he was placed in com- 
mand of the North-Western District. Subsequently he 
was transferred to the Northern District, with his Head- 
quarters at York. Reference is made to him in the letters 
of Queen Victoria (vol. i., p. 150). 

He gave up the command at York in the year 185 1, 
and, liking the place and neighbourhood, remained there 
in a residence which he rented at Bishopthorpe. His 
health broke down in 1852, and in the following year he 
died, and was buried in the churchyard at Bishopthorpe. 
The church has since been pulled down, and the church- 
yard, which is adjacent to the gardens of the Archiepiscopal 
Palace, closed. His tomb is on the south side of the old 
graveyard, and bears the following inscription : — 




C.B., K.T.S., K.C., St Bento D'Avis 

Colonel of the 94.1/1 Regiment 

Died at York, 26th July 1853, aged 69 Years. 




In June 1808 the British Government determined 
to send assistance to the Spaniards, who had risen 
in revolt against the French domination in the 

Spain, which had been an enemy, was now 
regarded as a friend. 

In the previous year, an expedition under 
General Whitelock had been despatched to invade 
the Spanish Colonies in America, with disastrous 
results. In 1808 a force of about 9000 men was 
already assembled in Ireland, with a view to 
renewing this attempt under a more competent 
General. But in the altered circumstances the 
destination of these troops was changed, and they 
were placed under the command of Lieut. -General- 
Sir Arthur Wellesley, with orders to proceed 
to Portugal and to co-operate with the Spaniards 
and Portuguese in attacking the French. 

Beside the troops ready to embark in Ireland 
there were two Brigades — Anstruther's and Acland's, 



quartered at Harwich and Ramsgate respectively 
— available for immediate service abroad. These 
were added to Wellesley's command. And in 
addition to these there were at this time about 5000 
men, under General Spencer, observing Cadiz, who 
could join the expedition on Portuguese soil. 
Lastly, there was a force of about 10,000 men under 
Sir John Moore, who had been sent to the Baltic 
to co-operate with the Swedes, a task which proved 
impracticable. These were on their way home, and 
were ordered to Portugal, though some time 
elapsed before they could join their comrades in the 

Major-General Ferguson, with his Aides-de- 
Camp, Capt. Warre and Capt. Mellish, embarked at 
Portsmouth in H.M.S. Resistance — Capt. Adam — 
in May ; but their destination at that time was quite 
uncertain, though General Ferguson, nominally at 
least, belonged to the force under General Spencer's 
command. After some further delay, owing to 
contrary winds, the Resistance arrived at Cork, 
where Sir Arthur Wellesley on 7th June assumed 
the command of the troops assembled. The news 
of the Spanish insurrection had already reached 
England, and although quite uncertain as yet as to 
their future movements, everyone seems to have 
taken it for granted that they were to sail at once. 
As it turned out, they had many weeks to wait 
before the actual start took place. 

The six letters written in May and June, though 
not belonging properly to the letters from the 
Peninsula, have been included in the series, as 
giving an account not altogether uninteresting of the 
kind of life led while waiting for orders to sail, the 
needs and necessities recorded, and the ideas gener- 
ally entertained by the writer as set forth in his 
correspondence. The difficulties respecting the 
soldier servant, whom he was so anxious to take 


with him, have an almost tragic interest in view of 
the ultimate fate of the man, which is afterwards 
described in the letters. 

Not without interest also are the sidelights 
occasionally thrown upon the jealousy with which 
Colonels of Regiments regarded the taking of 
officers from service with the Regiment for Staff 
employment, and the indications of the necessity of 
influence in high quarters to obtain any appoint- 
ment of the kind. But more than all is the 
evidence of the enthusiasm which pervaded all 
ranks — enthusiasm for a glorious cause, which was 
no less than the liberation of Europe from the 
domination of the tyrant, who had trampled right 
and justice under foot, and was without gainsaying 
England's bitterest and deadliest foe. 


Portsmouth, May 22, 1808. 

Here we are, my dearest Father, after a very 
hasty journey and pleasant, as constant rain and a 
complete overturn about \ a mile short of Kingston, 
from which Capt. Mellish and myself escaped quite 
safe, except a few trifling bruises and a sprained 
thumb I got, which renders my writing somewhat 
difficult — with these exceptions it was as pleasant 
as could be to me, leaving all those dearest to me 
in the world. 

We have just got all our baggage, and go on 
board ourselves this evening. Capt. Adam appears 
to be a very fine gentlemanly young man, and 
much inclined to show us every civility. 


We shall sail as soon as the wind is fair, and 
are much hurried. Should my things arrive this 
evening they will be in time, otherwise I fear not. 
Nothing can be kinder than the General. I think 
myself every moment more fortunate in going with 
him. Pray get some advice about Rankin. I 
shall send him on shore at Cork, if I can, and have 
no answer from Seymour. 1 If I am not able to 
send him on shore, the advice I want you to get is, 
how to get him leave to go, as if he were not gone 
but to Cork. Pray write. It may find me on 
board the Resistance, Cork. I will write every 
opportunity. May God bless and preserve you 
all and give you every happiness, is the constant 
prayer of your affectionate son, 

Wm. War re. 

H.M.S. "Resistance," 
St Helens, May 24th, 1808. 

Many thanks, my dear Father, for your letter of 
yesterday, and the books and wine, about which 
I have just written to Messrs Smith and Atkins, 
directing them, if we are sailed, to send it to care 
of Markland at Gibraltar. Here we are with the 
wind as foul as it can blow, and too hard to put 
to sea. We shall sail the first opportunity, and 
are not a little anxious to get off. Nothing can 
exceed the General's and Capt. Adam's kindness. 
We are as comfortable as on shore, and as happy 
as possible. 

We have not the least idea of our destination. 
Reports I never believe. If the General does not 

1 Lt.-Col. 23rd Dragoons. 


know, it is not likely any newspaper can. I 
received my books and wine safe, for which accept 
my thanks. The books, at all events, I could not 
read if I had them not. They are therefore as 
well with me, and God knows how long we may be 
on board or away. 

I am glad you intend to call on the Duke. It 
is as well ; and pray do not forget to assure Ld. 
Mostyn of my gratitude and sense of his kindness 
towards me. I have written, or rather I wrote 
the day I left town to Seymour, but, should I not 
get his answer at Cork, must send Rankin on 
shore ; and to go without a servant is very incon- 
venient indeed. Therefore I think, if you could 
hire me a steady, honest servant, it would be worth 
while his coming to Cork to me ; or the General 
thinks it would be better to ask General Calvert, 
by " empenho " * to send me an order to Cork for him 
to accompany me at all events. 

Adieu ; we are ordered off by signal. May God 
preserve and bless you all, is the constant prayer of 
your affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Cove, June 8, 1808. 

My Dearest Father, 

Till yesterday, on Sir A. Wellesley's 
arrival at Cork to take the command, our sailing 
was so uncertain, that I did not write to you, for 
other news, except that we are all well, from hence 
I had none to tell. We now expect to sail the day 

1 By desire. 

6 COVE [1808 

after to-morrow, Sunday, if the wind is fair. The 
glorious accounts from Spain have hurried us off, 
and I believe there is now no doubt that that 
is our destination, but what part we know not. 
The Rendezvous is Tangier bay, in case of 
parting company, which looks like Cadiz (this 
entre nous). 

We are exceedingly anxious to get away, after 
six weeks' delay. The Army are in the highest 
spirits ; indeed the cause we are engaged in is the 
noblest a soldier could wish, and to support the 
liberties and independence of a country so lately 
our enemy. To forget all animosity and cordially 
join against the common enemy of Europe, the 
would-be Tyrant of the world, is worthy of the 
British name ; and a soldier's heart must be cold 
indeed that would not warm with enthusiasm in 
such a cause. I am not one of the most sanguine ; 
you know my opinion of armed mobs, though in 
this, from the accounts we have received, there is 
an appearance of system and order that promises 
well. May God assist the Right. It may be the 
crisis of the Tyrant's power. If he fails now, it 
may open the eyes of Europe. 

I will write by every opportunity and let you 
know how we are going on, and the news, and a line 
when we sail. The General's best thanks for your 
present of maps. They are most acceptable to him. 
He is gone with Adam and Mellish to Cork to dine 
with the Mayor, or dine in publick in honour of Sir 
Arthur. I was asked, but having a good deal to 
do, and not fancying a crowd, have sent an excuse. 
We have been very gay here ever since we arrived, 
but long to be off. 


How unfortunate we were not to be with 
Spencer at landing at Cadiz. There will be yet 
something I hope to be done. Boney will not 
easily give up his point, and a more beautiful army 
never embarked, for its size, from any place. We 
have been joined by 45th, 4 troops 20 Lt. Dns., and 
2 companies Artillery, besides a very large Staff, and 
are to be by the 36th Regt. The troops are very 
healthy, in all about 9650 men. 

I have not heard further about remaining in the 
23rd. Seymour has allowed me to take Rankin, if 
I can get a man to exchange. Stuart is trying to 
get me one from the 9th Foot, but they are all so 
high in spirits at going on service, I fear of his 
getting one. I think we shall certainly sail on 
Sunday, if possible. Write to me, in case we should 
go to Porto, direct Gibraltar, and tell me if I can 
do anything there ; depend on my punctuality 
and exertions. Such a thing might happen as 
going in there. Our party is much augmented on 
board Resistance. Generals Crawfurd and Fane 
1 A.-de-C. or 2, 1 B de Major, and a civil Secretary. 
It will not be so pleasant as hitherto. Patience, it 
is a million times better than a transport. 

From your ever affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Pray desire Hawkes Piccadilly to send me a 
Hat and Feather, the same shape exactly as the last, 
by 1st opportunity ; my old one is gone to pieces. 

COVE [1808 

Cove, June 17, 1808. 

My Dear Father, 

I have to thank you for your kind 
letter on the nth inst, and for that you wrote to 
Genl. Payne, in which you have said everything 
that can be said. I am much afraid he is offended 
with my carrying my point in spite of him. 

It is however of consequence my remaining in 
the Regiment, as more Captains are quitting it I 
hear, and I have therefore this day written to 
Greenwood's with the enclosed paper of exchange 
signed, of which letter you have an extract annexed. 
It may do good, and cannot do any harm. 

Seymour, I think, will do what he can for me ; 
his letters are as friendly as possible, though he will 
not allow me to take Rankin, which is very 
annoying, particularly now that I have bought a 
horse, nor do I know what to do for a servant here. 
There is no such thing, and as all the troops are 
now embarked, and we may be ordered to sail every 
hour, I have no time to write for one. I should 
therefore be much obliged to you, if you would 
enquire about some honest, trusty man, who must 
understand horses, and send him out to join me at 
Gibraltar. Agree about wages, clothes, etc., and 
send him out to join me at Gibraltar, or off Cadiz, 
as soon as a conveyance offers. To be c-n service 
without a trusty servant will be exceedingly un- 

We know nothing further of our destination or 
plans. We have been here amusing ourselves in 
perfect idleness, though very gayly. We yesterday 


dined on board Ld. Thomond's yacht, and went in 
the evening to a play, acted by the Officers of the 
Resistance, for the poor of Cove. It was exceedingly 
crowded, and went off very well. I have bought a 
nice little hack, a mare, the only thing of the kind 
I could get for the price, 30 guineas Irish, for 
which I drew yesterday on you. They ask 50, 60, 
70, for nice hacks, and the Genl. and Mellish have 
been obliged to pay it. I got mine from an 
Artillery Officer, through a friend of mine, and am 
very lucky. I also further drew upon you for ^20 
British to Mr Mayhew, of which Mellish has half and 
is to pay me in the money of the country we go to. 
I hope we shall now leave this very soon. All the 
Regts. are embarked, and we only wait for orders. 
I will write as soon as they arrive. I rejoice to 
hear that dear Tom 1 was safe at Stockholm, and 
daily expected. God send him safe, dear fellow. It 
would have been great happiness to have seen him 
before I sailed, but I shall now be satisfied with 
hearing of his safe arrival. Give him my kindest 
love and welcome home. 

Pray assure Lord Rosslyn when you see him of 
my high sense of his Lordship's goodness, and that 
if I must quit the 23rd, I shall feel highly gratified 
by being in his Regiment. Pray get my uncle to 
get the Duchess to speak to Gordon about the 
exchange. As things are now, it is really a very 
hard case that I must give up my chance of 
advancement because I am anxious to learn experi- 
ence of my profession, and it has disgusted me not 

1 Thomas Warre, second son of James Warre, a merchant in St 
Petersburg, escaped from Russia to Sweden after war had been 
declared against England, 

10 COVE [1808 

a little. In the midst of this idleness, such is the 
confusion and hurry that we can scarcely settle to 
anything. Report says we are going to Spain. 
I am working hard at Spanish, as is Mellish, who is 
a very clever fellow. 

Stuart, my old friend, embarked to-day. His 
Regiment marched in, in the finest order, and got 
great credit. He desires to be most kindly 
remembered, as does the General. I believe 
General Hill, who commanded at Fermoy when I 
was there, goes with us in the Resistance. He is a 
very pleasant, mild man, and much liked. He 
commands here till the arrival of the Commander-in- 
Chief, Sir A. Wellesley, I believe certainly ; but 
whether he will come here, or we join him at sea, 
is not known. 

Wm. Warre. 

Extract of my Letter to Greenwood & Cox. 

"June 17, 1808. 

"The objection to my accompanying Major 
General Ferguson (the number of Captns. then on the 
Staff from the Regt.) being now removed by Captn. 
F's exchange, I hope H.R. Highness and Major- 
General Payne will be pleased to allow me to remain 
in the 23rd, to which, independent of the number 
of steps I shall lose by the exchange, I am much 
attached, and shall only quit from my great desire of 
acquiring experience in my profession on actual 
service, of which I saw but little prospect in the Regt. 
at present. Any emolument I can receive from my 
Staff situation, I can assure H.R.H., is not an 


object, my only wish being to render myself, as 
far as lays in my power, useful in the service, 
however great the loss [I may] suffer by entering 
another Regt. as younger Captain from one in 
which I am so high up. 

" I have the honour to request you will lay this 
before H.R.H., at the same time assuring him of 
my willingness to fulfil the conditions under which 
he was pleased to allow me to accompany Major- 
Genl. Ferguson, by exchanging into any Regt. of 
Dragoons H.R.H. may think proper. I have the 
honour, etc., etc." 

I have desired them to write to me what answer 
the Duke gives. 

Cove, June 22, 1808. 

My Dearest Father, 

I have this morning received your 
kind letter of the 16th, and am very much obliged 
to you for the Maps, which will be most acceptable, 
as I have hunted all over Cork without finding 
anything of the kind, and I think there is little 
doubt of Spain's being our destination in the first 
place. I shall offer them to the General, but I 
fear he will not be prevailed on to accept them. He 
is always ready to oblige or give anything away 
himself, but would not take a pen from anyone, if 
he thought he deprived him of it. I shall note 
carefully what you say respecting . . . though on 
his score of fortune, I think you have been misin- 
formed. He is not amiable in his manners, but 
very clever, and though very good friends, we are not 
likely ever to be very intimate or confidential. A 

12 COVE [1808 

sort of outward cordiality must seem to exist, placed 
as we are together in situation. 

I am most sincerely rejoiced that Douglas is 
coming to join us. For him I have really a very 
warm regard, and should Johnstone succeed, shall 
have with me two of my greatest friends. Our 
General has nothing to do with the present Expedi- 
tion. He belongs to Spencer, and is ordered to 
proceed by the first safe conveyance (a man-of-war) 
but, should one not offer, to remain in the Resistance ; 
this entre nous. He has applied, but none offers, 
and I think there is very little doubt of our all 
having the same destination. He is naturally very 
anxious to join his Brigade at his post off Cadiz, 
but we should all quit the Resistance with very great 
regret. Nothing can be more pleasant than our 
situation with so excellent a fellow as Adam. 

I was in great hopes of hearing of dear Tom's 
safe arrival, and hope still to have that happiness 
before we sail. Enclosed I send him a few lines 
welcome home. They but faintly express a brother's 
feelings at his escape, and return, after so long an 
absence, to the bosom of his family. 

All the troops are embarked, and certainly finer, 
as far as they go, never were seen. We now only 
wait for orders and Sir A. Wellesley, who is expected 
to-day, and will I hope bring some further orders 
for Genl. Ferguson. As to Rankin, I have written 
to Seymour to allow him to exchange into the 9th 
Foot. Stuart has been so good as to promise to get 
one of his men to do so, and I trust the General, 
who, by the bye, it was that wrote, will have an 

I have no answer to my letter about buying his 


discharge, which I fear will not be allowed. It 
will be abominably unpleasant to embark with a 
horse and no servant. As to Payne [nothing] 
but the steps and prospects I have in his Regiment 
would induce me to remain in it, though Seymour's 
letters are highly kind and flattering. Payne 
considering dispassionately, has but little right to 
be angry at my using all my endeavours to get a 
very advantageous situation, although in spite of 
him ; nor can I rate my services so low, as to 
suppose they are a matter of indifference to my 
Regiment, particularly considering the sacrifices I 
offered to make on my return to England. His 
not answering your letter is want of good breeding. 
Seymour's letter to him, however, perhaps makes 
him hesitate. 

We have been endeavouring to establish a ball 
here this evening for the relief of the poor distressed 
wives of the Soldiers, but it is a very bad day and 
I fear we shall have but thin attendance. I have 
been much troubled with the toothache, and 
yesterday had the unruly member drawn with 
much difficulty, and to-day my face is very sore 
and swelled ; but, as I was one of the chief 
instigators of this ball, I must go, though not at 
all in the humour for it. Adieu, my dearest father. 
Ever your most affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

The Genl. thanks you for your kind messages, 
and desires to be most kindly remembered. 

14 COVE [1808 

Cove, June 27, 1808. 

My Dearest Mother, 

Even had I not this morning 
received your most kind and affectionate letter 
by Douglas with the locket, it was my intention 
to have written a few lines, nor have I time for 
much more, as we dine at a Mr Frankland's some 
way in the country, and I have a good deal of 
writing on hand. Accept my best thanks for the 
letter and locket which shall never quit me, though 
you know I did not want it as a souvenir. I wish 
it was the Talisman, so famous in the " Arabian 
Nights," that conveyed its possessor in an instant 
wherever he wished. I should often visit the 
happy circle at Hendon. 

We really know no more of our destination 
than you do, except that we all belong to the same, 
and are to join General Spencer at Gibraltar, which 
is a great satisfaction. Hitherto we have been 
longing for an opportunity to get out to him, not 
knowing but this expedition might have quite a 
different destination. 

We have a large list of the Staff, among which 
are many friends of mine. Sir A. Wellesley, Lieut.- 
Genl. commands in chief, and under him are Major 
Genls. Spencer, Hill, Ferguson, Br. Genls. Fane, 
Crawford, Nightingale. Col. Torrens is Mily. 
Secretary, and a long list of Staff-officers, which I 
need not trouble you with reading. Genls. Fane and 
Crawford go in the Resistance with us, which will 
take away greatly in point of room. The latter and 
his Brigade Major I know very well, the former not 
at all, though I hear he is a very good man. I could 


have dispensed with him very well, as they just turn 
us poor ADC S out of our snug berths, and strangers 
will prevent that pleasant gaiety and freedom we 
have enjoyed hitherto. 

It is very uncertain when we shall sail. We 
are waiting for the Donegal 74, Capt. Malcolm, 
and Crocodile frigate, and for some transports, 
with Artillery and Cavalry, and some empty ones 
to thin those now here, which are very much 
crowded, though hitherto quite healthy. The 
additional room allowed looks like a longer voyage 
than we expected, though Cavalry and our taking 
horses seems to contradict this idea. I am rather 
for going to Spain. It is a noble service assisting 
a nation fighting for its independence, and it is 
impossible to say what a brave people fighting for 
liberty, and actuated at the same time by resent- 
ment for great injuries, and a bigoted attachment 
to ancient customs may do, if properly supported. 
At all events, our assisting to the utmost of our 
power the mother country will greatly facilitate our 
establishing the independence of America, whither 
I hope will be our ultimate destination. 

Sir A. W. is a very good officer, and much 
esteemed, and I trust we have neither a Whitelock 
or Gower amongst us. I have not been very well 
to-day — I expect from the effects of bad water — and 
so liable to catch cold, that the General has made 
me put on flannel, and I find myself better since I 
have ordered a dozen of waistcoats of it at Cork. 

We had a gay ball here on Friday, in a store- 
house fitted up with flags, for the relief of the 
distressed soldiers' wives. We had a good many 
people, and collected about ^50 free of expenses, 

16 COVE [1808 

little enough among so many objects. I have had 
a good deal of trouble, but who would grudge it in 
such a cause ? To-morrow there is a ball for the 
poor wounded Dutchmen taken in the Guelder land. 
I have never seen greater objects. Poor fellows ! 
they fought very bravely, but knew nothing of their 
business. Our Frigate only lost one killed and one 
wounded, and they 60 in both. 1 I went to see them, 
and the Genl. has sent the Officer refreshments and 
wine. He is an excellent man. His purse is 
always open to distress, even too much. He is, I 
fear, often imposed upon. I am much pleased for 
many reasons, you may suppose, with Mr Adamson's 
kindness. Pray thank him most kindly from me. 
As for Moll, I shall be much affronted if he talks of 
paying for her. He must accept her as a very 
small proof of my friendship and very high regard 
for him, to say nothing of his kindness to me and 
my gratitude for it. I hope Hardy will suit dear 
Emily, and she will have him as a present from her 
affectionate brother. I shall be able to afford not to 
sell him, if we have a long voyage, and think she will 
like him with greater pleasure as a present from me. 
I was rejoiced to see my friend Douglas, he is gone 
in to Cork to-day and returns to-morrow. . . . 

I am anxiously waiting to hear of dear Tom's 
arrival. Write to me the moment he does. We 
are not likely to sail for some time, 

Yrs., etc., 

Wm. W. 

1 See James's Naval History, vol. iv., p. 324 ff. May 19, 1808. 
" Guelderland," Dutch 36-gun frigate taken by the " Virginie." 



After long delay the expedition under Lieut. - 
General Sir Arthur Wellesley sailed from Cork 
on 1 2th July. Meanwhile the Government had 
altered its mind as to the command of the army, 
and, after Sir Arthur Wellesley had sailed, en- 
trusted the command of the whole force to Sir 
Hew Dalrymple. Under him were, in order of 
seniority, Sir Harry Burrard, Sir John Moore, Sir 
Arthur Wellesley, who thus, after his arrival in 
Portugal, found himself as the junior Lt.-General 
only fourth in command. 

On 26th July the fleet reached Porto Roads, 
and on 1st August and the following days, the 
troops were landed at Figueira, in Mondego Bay, 
not without difficulty, owing to the surf, which from 
the open Atlantic beats with violence on the 
unprotected coast. 

It was not till 9th August that the army was 
able to move forward. Difficulties as to transport 
were almost insuperable, and some guns had to be 
left behind. Wellesley had determined to take the 
coast road, wishing to pick up on his way towards 
Lisbon the Brigades of Anstruther and Acland 
which had sailed on July 19th, but had not yet 
arrived. His impression was that Junot, the 
17 B 


French Marshal, had 10,000 troops under his 
command, but he had under-estimated these, which 
amounted in reality to about 26,000 ; though it was 
true that Junot had detached about 7000 under 
Loison to quell the insurrection in the Alemtejo. 

On hearing of the landing in Mondego Bay, 
Junot hastily recalled Loison, with orders to join 
De la Borde, who, with 5000 men, was sent forward 
to observe and check the British army, till a con- 
centration of the French forces could take place. 
Loison, however, whose force had a long and weary 
march, was delayed at Santarem, and, on the day of 
Rolica, was full fifteen miles away from the scene of 
the fight. De la Borde, who left Lisbon on August 
6th, advanced as far as Alcoba^a, but fell back on a 
position he had selected near Rolica. On August 
1 6th the forces came into contact, and on the 17th 
was fought the first combat of the Peninsular War, 
which takes its name from Rolica. The action is 
described in the letter from Lourinhao. Wellesley 
after the action moved on still by the coast-line, 
neglecting Loison and allowing him unmolested to 
join Junot at Cereal. He was anxious to pick 
up Acland and Anstruther, who were reported 
off Peniche. They landed at Porto Novo, at 
the mouth of the little river Maceira, 12 miles 
south of Rolica. 

Meanwhile Junot, after many delays, had moved 
by Villa Franca on Torres Vedras. It was not 
until the 20th that he learnt for certain that the 
British force was keeping the coast road. On the 
evening of the 20th he was ten miles south of 
Vimiero, where the British army lay covering the 
disembarkation of the two Brigades. During the 
night the French army marched, and at dawn on 
the 2 1 st found itself close under the British position. 
Followed on that day the Battle of Vimiero, which 
is graphically described in the letters. 


The victory was won ; but to the disgust of the 
army, and afterwards of the whole British nation, 
it was shorn of its glory, and possible advantages, 
by the command of Sir Harry Burrard, who landed 
in the course of the morning of the 21st, super- 
seding Sir Arthur Wellesley, and forbidding all 
pursuit. Burrard himself was shortly superseded 
by Sir Hew Dalrymple, and the result which 
ensued, in the Convention of Cintra, is too well 
known to need comment here. 

After the battle of Vimiero, William Warre was 
laid up with an attack of enteric fever, which 
brought him to death's door. He recovered slowly, 
and by the month of October was sufficiently well 
to see active service again as A.D.C. to General 
Beresford, who commanded a brigade in the army 
of which Sir John Moore was the C.-in-C. General 
Ferguson had not, as he had expected, returned 
from England. 


Porto Roads, July 25, 1808. 
My Dear Father, 

We arrived this morning off this 
place, which was the appointed Rendezvous. I 
have not not been able to communicate with the 
shore yet, and it is very uncertain whether I shall 
be able to see my friends there, or land at all. I 
have just heard a Frigate is going to England, and 
the boat is waiting to take my letter, so I have only 
time to say we are all well. I think we are to land 
at Lisbon and attack Junot. This is my idea, but 
nothing is known. To express my feelings at 

20 PORTO ROADS [1808 

seeing the spot of my birth, the place in which I 
spent some of the happiest days of my life, would be 
impossible, or how tantalised at not being able to 
communicate. Should we land, you shall hear 
further and by first opportunity. At present they 
are calling for my letter. 

Your ever affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I have opened this to say that I have a message 
from the Commodore, saying he is sorry it will not 
be possible for me to land, as they only wait for 
Sir A. Wellesley's return from shore to make sail. 
They are making dispositions for the anchoring of 
the fleet and landing. Spencer is to join us. I 
am much disappointed at not landing or communi- 
cating with shore. 

A Deos, 

Com as may ores saudades} 

Monday evening, July 25M, 1808. 
Off Ovar. 

Dearest Father, 

The enclosed is a second time returned 
to me, and as the Peacocks boat, by whom it is to 
go, is delayed a few minutes, I have opened it to tell 
you we are making all sail for Figueira, where we 
are to land to-morrow morning in order, I under- 
stand, to cut off a French Corps marching to 
Lisbon to Junot's assistance, and then to march to 
Lisbon and try his mettle. I cannot imagine what 

1 "With greatest regrets," or, as we should say, "With much 


Corps is meant, as the annexed is the official 
account of their disposition in Spain (minus 18,000 
said to be killed in Spain, and some must have been 
in Portugal), viz. (?900o) at St Sebastian, 6000 
Pampelona, 15,000 Barcelona, closely besieged by 
the Patriots in great force, 10,000 Burgos, 2000 
Vittoria, 50,000 Madrid and adjacent country, 
16,000 Lisbon, said to be now reduced to 12,000. 
I have no accounts of the state of the country. 
We made sail to the southward immediately, and 
not a single boat came on board. Adieu. 

I will write after our landing, if opportunity 
offers. The most anxious moment I ever felt was 
seeing Porto and not being able either to write or 
go near. Every house I could see looked beautiful 
to me who felt how happy I had been there. 

Camp Lavos, Nr. Figueira, 
Aug. 8, 1808. 

My Dearest Mother, 

I have seized the opportunity of a 
few leisure moments to write a few lines just to tell 
you I am quite well, though a good deal fagged and 
burnt by being constantly exposed to the sun, and 
the exertions, which my knowledge of the language, 
and our situation, render indispensable ; though I 
feel the sincerest pleasure in being in any way 
useful to my country or the service, and fully 
recompensed by it for every fatigue. 

We disembarked the first of this month. It 
took three days to land the whole army, and had 
we been opposed from the land I am positive we 

22 CAMP, LAVOS [1808 

could never have effected it, so great is the surf 
both on the coast and the bar. However, thank 
God, the whole army landed without any loss but 
a horse or two, and now occupy a position at this 
place, or rather with our left to the village and right 
to the sea, where we have been waiting for the 
arrival of General Spencer and his Corps, who 
arrived, and have been landing yesterday and to-day, 
I trust without any loss, though the surf is very 

We advance to attack Monsr. Junot the day 
after to-morrow ; the advance guard, under Genl. 
Fane, to-morrow. It is several days' march. The 
severest part of the business is in these infamous 
roads and scorching sun, which with the large train 
of Artillery and Baggage will oblige us to move 
very slow. Junot has in all about 14,000 men, but 
he cannot long resist, being about to be completely 
surrounded by us, about 13 to 15,000 in all, from 
the North, and by a corps of about 6000 Portuguese; 
and from the North bank of the Tagus, from 
Badajos, by a corps of 10,000 men from General 
Castanhos' army in Spain, I hear, the bravest fine 
fellows possible, as is their General, and indeed the 
whole of the Spaniards in arms. Nothing can 
exceed their courage and enmity to the French. 
Hitherto their conduct has been most noble, and 
their praise in everybody's mouth. Andalusia is 
clear of French. Dupont and his army capitulated 
to be sent to France with his arms, a curious con- 
cession from the Spaniards, who are so much in 
want of them. Three armies of French have been 
taken or destroyed, and Castanhos is in full march 
towards Madrid, and every hope entertained of his 


success. 8000 of the French who had surrendered 
were massacred by the Spanish peasantry, so great 
is their animosity. All this is positive information. 
Castanhos has 45,000 men, 4000 of which excellent 
cavalry, and about 23,000 Regulars. He is a very 
mild man, but a fine fellow as ever was. Whitting- 
ham was in the action with Castanhos ; his conduct 
most gallant, and his praise universal in the army. 
He is appointed a Colonel in the Spanish service, 
as a proof of the esteem he is held in. The 
Portuguese have about 28,000 men in all the 
kingdom, in arms of all descriptions, all badly 
armed, and I fear not so enthusiastic in the cause 
(though they boast much) as their neighbours the 
Spaniards. As to what the English papers say, 
do not believe a word of it. I never read such a 
parcel of nonsense. 

General Ferguson's staff here occupy an old 
fellow's house, where we are comfortable enough, 
from Mrs Wm. Archer of Figueira's attention in 
sending us out everything we can want. Otherwise 
I know not what we should have done, as Figueira 
is 4^ miles off, and not a thing eatable or drinkable 
(besides the rations) nearer. We are up in the 
morning at 3 a.m., and, what with visiting the out- 
posts, or line, and guards, 7 or 8 hours a day on 
horse or mule back, so that we are quite ready to 
lie down 3 in a small room (for which luxury we are 
not a little envied), at nine o'clock, and sleep as 
sound as on the finest down beds in the world, but 
for turning out now and then in the night, to 
interpret or some other trifle (from nobody speaking 
the language but me in the Brigade), which now 
consists of the 66th, 40th, 71st Highlanders, all 

24 LOURINHAO [1808 

tried Regiments on service, and longing to meet 
these so much vaunted Frenchmen. 

From your ever most affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

The General desires kindest remembrances. 
He is the best man almost I ever met. 

Lourinhao, 12 miles from Peniche (South), 
August 19, 1808. 

I have just time to tell you I am well and quite 
safe. We had a very sharp action the day before 
yesterday, at a strong position at Rolic^a, near 
Obidos. The French were strongly posted at first 
in the plain, and then retired to a mountain almost 
inaccessible. But what could resist the gallantry 
of our brave fellows ? They clambered up exposed 
to a tremendous fire, and drove them for several 
miles, killing a great many and taking two pieces 
of cannon. Our army lost about 500 men in killed 
and wounded, and a very large proportion of 
Officers. The 29th Regt. suffered most, and 
lost 19 Officers killed and wounded, the Col. (Lake) 
among the former. The 9th also suffered, and my 
poor friend Stuart badly, I fear mortally, wounded. 
Capt. Bradford of 3rd Guards, and a Lieut. R. 
Dawson 1 killed, a fine gallant fellow. Our Brigade 
having been sent to turn the right, arrived rather 
late, and were scarcely engaged. We lost a few 
men — 5 or 6 — and poor Capt. Geary of the 
Artillery, after firing 4 shots at the enemy in most 
masterly style. 

1 45th Reg., carrying the King's colours. 


The French fought most gallantly, and their 
retreat does honour to their military character. 
They were inferior to us greatly in numbers. First 
commanded by Laborde, who it is said is badly 
wounded, and then by Junot, who arrived from 
Lisbon, though his column did not get up in time. 
Their loss from every account is nearly iooo. 
General orders to-day thank 9th, 29th, 5th, and Rifle 
corps for noble conduct. Though obliged at times 
to climb on hands and feet, nothing could restrain 
their impetuosity. Poor Stuart fell calling to his 
officers to see that his young Regt. did their duty, 
and not to mind him. Poor, dear friend, I fear he 
cannot live. We marched to this place yesterday 
to cover the landing of the troops under Genl. 
Anstruther, and have just received orders to advance 
towards Lisbon. 

The French retreated, all night of the action, 
by the new road. I wish we had pursued them, 
but feel every confidence in Sir A. W. 

Hitherto we have had a most harassing march 
in the sun, and suffered much from the heat, though 
all healthy and in high spirits. We shall give the 
French a good dressing wherever we meet them, 
and in 3 or 4 days shall be in Lisbon victorious 

Vimiero, August 12nd, 1808. 

My Beloved Parents, 

Since I wrote to you a few days ago 
by Col. Brown we have had a most glorious and 
memorable day for England. The French attacked 
us yesterday in our position with their whole force, 

26 VIMIERO [1808 

near 15,000 men. The attack was expected at 
daybreak, and would have been so, had they not 
been delayed by the roads. We had laid by our 
arms about 2 hours, after turning out before day- 
break as usual, when the 40th, part of General 
Ferguson's Brigade, had their picquet driven in, and 
beat to arms. 

Our noble General, of whose gallantry and 
conduct it is almost impossible to give an idea, was 
soon on the mountain, our quarters being about \ 
mile off in a small town, Vimiero. From thence we 
could perceive the enemy advancing to attack the 
centre of the army, and a strong column marching 
to turn the hill on which the General's Brigade was, 
with Cavalry and Artillery ; but as they had to 
make a considerable round, we had full time to 

Sir A. W. (who commanded, Sir H. Burrard 
not having landed) ordered up several Brigades, and 
made the most masterly disposition. The centre 
of the army, from which we were divided by a deep 
valley, was soon attacked with great vigour, but 
they received such a check, that we had soon the 
glory of seeing the French staggered and then 
relax in their attack. At this time General 
Ferguson's Brigade, and those under General 
Spencer, who commanded this wing, were briskly 
attacked, but our noble General in about \ hour 
after the fire commenced ordered his Brigade to 
charge, leading himself in a manner beyond all 
praise (it is enough, too, that the Commander-in- 
Chief considers him to have most contributed to 
the completest victory that could be obtained 
without cavalry to follow it up). The French gave 


way, and were followed with three cheers by the 
whole Brigade. A part rallied, but the 36th and 
71st charged them with an irresistible impetuosity, 
led on by our brave General, and drove them from 
their guns, of which they took four, with as many 
tumbrils. The victory was now certain, though they 
again rallied once more, and were again dispersed 
by the 71st. Our Artillery completed the triumph 
of this glorious day. To speak of the conduct of 
any body would in me seem presumptuous. Every 
soldier seemed a hero. The fire for some time was 
tremendous, and the field strewed with our brave 
fellows in charging the guns. My horse, a 
beautiful, nice creature, I had received but a few days 
before from Porto, which cost me 38 Moidores, was 
shot in several places and fell dead. I got on 
another belonging to a Dragoon, but so tired he 
could not move ; and when I had the cloak shot 
away from before me, I thought it high time to 
dismount and join the 36th, who were advancing, 
and with them I had the honour to remain during 
the rest of the action. The loss of the French is 
very great, upward of 1200 killed and wounded left 
on the field, besides prisoners. Our army lost about 
500 in killed and wounded, and a good many Officers. 
The only one you know is little Ewart, shot through 
the leg, not dangerously I hope. The French army 
was commanded by Junot, Laborde, Loison, 
Chariot, Brennier. The two latter were taken 
with a great many Officers, and thirteen pieces of 

We could adore Ferguson for his bravery and 
skill and coolness in a fire like hail about him. His 
orderly, a very fine trooper of the 20th Drns., was 


shot close to me, and I fear cannot live. My poor 
friend Stuart of the 9th died two days ago, after the 
fight at Roli9a, universally lamented — to me a loss 
I have not yet recovered. I was much attached to 
him. I have not time to write any more particulars. 
I am very much fatigued, having been yesterday till 
past 5 p.m. collecting the wounded English and 
French, and conducting them to a place of safety 
from the Portuguese cowards, who won't fight a A 
of a Frenchman with arms, but plunder and murder 
the wounded, poor wretches. Had I time I could 
tell you such things of these countrymen of mine, 1 
that you would not wonder at my despising them 
and having unpleasantly changed my opinion of 
their character, 

I am very happy to tell you none of our Staff 
were killed. I have suffered a good deal all night 
and to-day from a bowel complaint, but am better. 
I wish we had advanced to-day and followed up our 
victory, without giving them time to rally from a 
check they are so little used to. 

Adieu ; God bless you all. Kindest love to them, 
from your most affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Buenos Ayres, Lisbon, 
17 Sept. 1808. 

My Dearest Friends, 

I should be most ungrateful did I let 
another opportunity pass of thanking you for your 
very kind letters of 25 July, 1st Aug., 3 Sept., which 
latter I received yesterday, and am, believe me, most 

1 William Warre was born in Portugal. 


sensible to the praise and approbation of friends so 
infinitely dear to me. 

You will long before this have heard of the 
dreadful illness and narrow escape I have had since 
the action, the extreme weakness occasioned by which 
alone prevented my writing to you and my uncle 
William by the Donegal, who went home as one of 
the escort to the Russian Fleet. I never suffered so 
much in my life as during those 14 days I was at 
the worst, though the fever left me on the 4th or 
5 th day for a time. I had very slender hopes I 
should ever again see my beloved family and 
friends. I have now been on shore a week, and so 
much recovered and gaining so much strength that 
I am able to take a walk every day a short way, 
and am getting my flesh again, though still very 
thin, the disorder having left me a perfect skeleton. 
I even yesterday paid a visit to some friends of the 
Barnardo Bettrao's, and sat there a considerable time. 
To the Friar (Fre Barnardo), one of the family, I 
am indebted for the most friendly attention and 
kindness. He has been most anxious to procure 
me every comfort and supply every want I could 
have in my situation. 

I think of going to Cintra next week for a few 
days, for change of air and quiet. As soon as I am 
able to undertake the journey, I shall go to Porto, 
as Genl. Ferguson is going to England for a short 
time on particular family business. I have deter- 
mined to remain behind, as I consider myself bound 
to join my Regt. should I return to England, and 
have great doubts whether they would allow me to 
return, which would be provoking, if there was 
anything to be done, and I am the more inclined to do 

30 LISBON [1808 

this, as from the Government of this country having 
written to beg my worthy kind friend in the Albany 
to come over, I have great hopes of embracing him 
once more at Ma^arellos. 

I feel great " Saudades" 1 notwithstanding, at 
being obliged to postpone the happiness of seeing 
you all, after such a narrow escape, but trust the 
time is at all events not very far distant, and that 
we shall yet talk over dangers past with additional 
accounts to tell and battles to fight over, for I hope 
they will not leave so fine an army idle at such a 

You ask me for some account of the battle. I 
will give it you nearly in the same words as I have 
written to my friends and Uncle William. After 
having had all the fag and labor, it is hard not to 
have been able to partake in the least of the exulta- 
tion and joy of the victory, or enter into the rejoic- 
ings of this place, for eight days illuminated, and 
every heart elated at the French having left it. The 
last division embarked two days ago, but have not 
sailed. The i stand 2nd, I believe, have. 

The Natives have murdered every straggler or 
unfortunate Frenchman they met behind the column, 
and, but for very strong English guards and patrols, 
would destroy every person who supported them, 
and their houses. It is cowardly in them now, but 
when we hear of the ferocious cruelties and insolence, 
of the system of robbery and plunder and murder, 
almost incredible had we not seen such proofs of 
it, we cannot wonder at the fury of this naturally 
passionate and revengeful people. 

Now to the battle. We had received informa- 
1 Regrets. 


tion on the evening of the 20th that the enemy 
intended to attack us next morning, but this was 
generally discredited. We were as usual every 
morning under arms an hour before daybreak, and 
remained after daybreak longer than usual, when, 
not perceiving anything of the enemy, the troops 
were dismissed, and Genl. Ferguson and his Staff 
again retired to our straw at a house about |- a 
mile from Camp at the town of Vimiero. About 
8 I was woke by a Serjeant, who told me our 
picquets of the 40th on the left were driven in and 
the enemy advancing. I ran to tell Genl. Ferguson, 
and we were soon on horseback and on the hill 
on the left, from whence we had a full view of 
the French Army, on its march to attack us in 
two strong columns. The strongest and principal 
attack was on our centre, and the other against the 
hill, and left of our position, which was separated 
from the centre by a deep valley covered with vine- 
yards, occupied by our light troops, and to the top 
of which Genl. Ferguson ordered his Brigade 
to advance to await their attack. 

Sir A. Wellesley arrived soon after, as I had 
been sent to tell him of the attack, and perceiving 
the intention of the Enemy, ordered Genl. Bowes' 
and Genl. Ackland's brigades to support Genl. 
Ferguson's ; and made his dispositions in the most 
cool and masterly style, as from our commanding 
situation we could see all the movements of the 
French and of our own army. Our light troops in the 
centre, consisting of the 60th 5th Batt. (Riflemen) 
and 95 Rifle Corps, supported by the 50th, were 
by this warmly engaged and with various success, 
though they behaved most nobly ; but were at last 

32 LISBON [1808 

forced to retire before the French column, who 
advanced with the utmost confidence to the attack, 
expecting, as we have since heard, that we should 
have given way immediately, but were so warmly 
received that they retired. 

They made several attacks, and endeavoured to 
turn both flanks of the centre, but were received on 
their left by the 97th, who charged them and drove 
them through a wood, and on their right by the 
52nd 2nd Batt. and 50th, and 43rd 2 Batt., who 
defeated them also, though very unequal in numbers, 
and very hard pressed by the French columns. 

The enemy suffered so much that they soon 
retired in confusion. Our Artillery was excellently 
well served, and they were pursued by our handful 
of Cavalry of the 20 Dgns. and some Portu- 
guese Dgns., but who, venturing too eagerly in 
pursuit, the French rallied, and our people extri- 
cated themselves with great difficulty, losing a 
great many Officers and men, among the rest Col. 
Taylor killed. 

While part of this was going on, we were 
spectators of the fight from the hill, and the account 
I gave of the rest of what passed in the centre is 
from what I can collect. The column that was to 
attack us had a round to make, and did not arrive 
till long after the centre was engaged. They 
advanced in column — cavalry, infantry, artillery — 
with great confidence, and were well received by 
our light troops. As soon as they were within 
reach Genl. Ferguson ordered his Brigade to charge 
them, which was done with all the intrepidity and 
courage of British soldiers, and the enemy retired 
before us, keeping up a sharp fire. A part of them 


rallied, but Genl. Ferguson hurraed the 36th, a very 
weak though fine Regt. to charge, which was done in 
great style three successive times, till, as they were 
very much thinned, and in some disorder from the 
rapid advance, I was sent back to hasten the 
support which was far behind, the gallant little 
Regiment forming to rally again under cover of a 
hedge of American aloes though much pressed. I 
just returned in time to join the 71st, who were 
charging 6 pieces of the enemy's cannon that were 
retiring, and the fire at this time from the enemy 
was really tremendous. 

The enemy attempted to rally and advanced 
with drums beating, but the 71st charged them so 
manfully that they retired in confusion, and the 
retreat became general. 

Thus ended this glorious day, in which the 
valor and intrepidity of our gallant fellows was 
most conspicuous. Their appearance would have 
made a stone feel in such a cause. As to Genl. 
Ferguson, all I could say would not be half what he 
deserved in praise. His gallantry and judgement 
decided the day on the left. My only astonish- 
ment and that of everybody else is how he escaped. 
He was always in advance in the hottest fire 
animating everybody by his noble example. I 
have not seen any return of the killed and wounded. 

The general idea is that we lost about 5 or 600 
men, about as many as in the affairs of the 16th and 
17th, when we lost a great many officers, our fellows 
storming an almost perpendicular rock in face of 
the enemy, who own they were never more 
astonished. I there lost my dear friend Stuart 
of the 9th, one of my oldest and greatest friends. 


34 LISBON [1808 

It appears odd to weep in the midst of an action, 
but I was so shocked by the sudden change of a 
friendly shake of the hand about two hours before, 
(when our Brigade parted from them with Genl. 
Bowes to turn the enemy's flank), and his dying in 
great pain, exclaiming to his officers to see that his 
young Regt. did their duty, that the tears ran down 
my face like a child's. The 29th had 15 officers 
killed, wounded, and prisoners in that affair. 

The loss of the French in the first affairs must 
have been from 800 to 1000 in killed and wounded, 
on the 2 1 st near 4000 in killed, wounded, and 
prisoners. Our Artillery, which was extremely well 
served, did great execution, particularly the new 
shells filled with Musquet Balls invented by Major 
Shrapnell. The action was over before 2 p.m., and 
I was left the whole evening to collect the wounded 
French, and save them from being massacred by 
the natives, who plundered everyone they could. 
I remained till evening on this harassing and 
affecting duty, contemplating all the miseries and 
tortures war can inflict on human nature in all 
shapes. To this, added to the anxiety and fatigue 
I had previously undergone in the sun, and being 
very unwell before, I attribute the severe illness, 
which has prevented my partaking in the general 
joy and exultation at our success, but from which 
I am recovering very fast. 

I was much surprised to see D'Aeth, who is a 
charming fellow. He is going to Porto in the 
Eclipse, to which he is appointed Acting Commander. 
I have given him some letters, which I hope will 
make it pleasant to him ; but I was much more 
astonished to see Wm. Archibald, whom I thought 


in the Warrior with Spranger. He came and dined 
with me, and comes to-morrow to breakfast to take 
this and some other letters on board a ship that is to 
sail for England. He is very well, he says, and very 
happy in his ship and Captn., but I think he looks 
very pale and thin. He is very much grown. It 
is some years since I saw him and I should scarcely 
have known him again. 

I must mention to you two instances of noble 
conduct in and among many others I had an oppor- 
tunity of observing. These are of the two cousins 
M'Kayes of the 71st. One of them was Piper to the 
Regt., a remarkably handsome fine fellow, and was 
playing to the men while advancing to charge, when 
he was wounded badly in the lower part of the belly 
and fell. He recovered himself almost immediately 
and continued to play on the ground till quite 
exhausted. I afterwards saw him in a hovel, where 
we collected the wounded, surrounded by them, both 
French and English. I shook him by the hand and 
told him I was very sorry to see so fine a fellow so 
badly hurt ; he answered, " Indeed, Captain, I fear I 
am done for, but there are some of these poor fellows, 
pointing to the French, who are very bad indeed." 
The other a Corporal had taken the French General 
Brennier prisoner, who offered him his watch and 
money, but M'Kay told him to keep his money, he 
would have need of it, and took neither. A rare 
instance of forbearance in any soldier in action. 

I have written till I am so tired, I fear I cannot 
write more. I will if possible in the morning, but 
I wish at all events you would send my dearest 
Mother this letter as it gives so much detail, and, 
having written so long a one to my uncle William, 

36 LISBON [1808 

I cannot write another account and know she will 
like to hear all these particulars. If I do not write 
to-morrow I will by the very first ship that goes. 

Sept. 1 8th. — I am very much better to-day, so 
much that I intend going into Lisbon in a carriage. 
Yrs. affecly., 

W. Warre. 

Direct to me, care of any resident here to 
forward it by enquiry where I am. I know none 
but Portuguese. 

Lisbon, Sept 29, 1808. 

My Dear Father, 

I wrote a few lines by General 
Ferguson who went home in the Plover, and by 
the same ship were also, I believe, forwarded two 
long letters with some details of the action, which 
you will of course see. 

The indignation expressed in all the English 
Papers at the Capitulation made subsequent to that 
is scarce equal to what has been felt by every 
individual of the Army, whose glory and the 
gratitude of their countrymen (their best reward) 
has been so completely frittered away. This in a 
political point of view is the least of its evils. The 
consequences of sending to France 25,000 to join 
Buonaparte in his reconquering Spain and Portugal, 
men who have marched, and countermarched all 
over the country, may still be most disastrous, for 
I never can imagine that the struggle of these 


countries, (I should rather say Spain, for this 
country is not in a state to do anything for itself), 
is more than begun. The Tyrant will not so easily 
give up his point, but will march all his disposable 
force, and best Generals against her, unless indeed 
some unforeseen diversion in the north, or on the 
Continent, put some weight in the balance, in 
favour of Spain. 

As the French retreat and approach France, 
they come nearer their supplies, etc., properly their 
base of operation. While in separate armies the 
gallant Spaniards could by numbers surround and 
cut off their supplies and communications, and by 
enthusiasm and impetuosity overcome them. But 
the case is far different, when a regular army is 
collected and within reach of its supplies, nor have 
we of late heard of any material success of the 
Spaniards. I do not mean by this, that a nation 
like Spain urged by such motives for enthusiasm 
and revenge is not able, if unanimous, to gain at 
last and maintain its independence, but that it must 
be at the expense of many thousand lives, of proofs 
of the greatest fortitude and constancy, not, if, as 
they are doing in this country, they totally neglect 
their army, who instead of learning the very elements 
of their duty, of which they are totally ignorant, 
are employed in rejoicings and illuminations, or 
talking big of actions and valour, who never saw a 
shot fired. 

I live almost constantly with Portuguese, and 
have had a great deal of conversation with them. 
Some of the most enlightened foresee the conse- 
quences of the Government as now established, and 
the utter ruin of the Country. They speak sensibly 

38 LISBON [1808 

on the subject, and affect to feel its situation, but 
no one steps forward to point out the defects. 

The Regency as appointed by the Prince in the 
midst of hurry and confusion, was as lame a 
Government as could well be, mostly all old super- 
annuated Generals, who had never seen an enemy, 
or lawyers, who if they knew anything of the juris- 
prudence of their country, are entirely ignorant of 
Politics and Finance. Pedro de Mello is supposed 
to understand the interior regulation of the country, 
its police, and resources in men, etc., but little of 
finance. He has been very properly removed for 
his conduct during the stay of the French, as were 
Principe al Castro, Conde de St Payo, and the 
Marquez de Abrantes, the latter being a prisoner in 
France. To supply these they have chosen the 
Bishop of Porto, and the Marquez das Minas, a 
very young man, of whom I hear that he has no 
other merit than that he wears a very gay uniform 
and a very long feather. Thus in a country, 
whose finances are in such a deplorable condition 
that they have been obliged to pay the Police 
Guard out of the funds voluntarily raised for the 
support of the Army on its march, they have not 
chosen one man who has the least practice or 
knowledge in that branch, nor have they attempted 
to improve the state of their army. 

Their decrees since they came into power are as 
puerile and weak as might be expected. In short, 
all classes call out against the want of vigour and 
(the) ignorance of their rulers, though themselves 
wrapped up in the most unaccountable apathy and 

I am getting my strength and health very fast. 


I removed last week from the lodgings I was in to 
the house of a Senhor Manoel Mac,edo, who married 
Lucas Siabra's daughter. Nothing can exceed his 
kindness and attention. We were going for billets 
in the town, but having been introduced to us by 
Fre Bernardo Bettrao (by us I mean also Major 
Wilson 97th, who was wounded on the 21st, and we 
have been ever since together) he called and 
insisted upon our coming to his house, and would 
take no apology, assuring us that we should go and 
dine and live where we pleased. But since we have 
been in his house he not only feeds us but any 
friend who comes to see us. He is a man of very 
large property, but only lately married. He is very 
much attached to everything that is English. He 
has lived a great deal in Brazil and shewed me 
some curious accounts of the natives of the interior, 
and a plan he proposed for their civilization, very 
well written and with wonderful liberality and 
tolerance for a Portuguese. Fre Bernardo Bettrao 
has been most friendly and constant in his attention, 
and introduced me to several of my Uncle's friends, 
who have been very attentive, particularly Lucas 
Siabra, the Lieutenant-General of the Police, to 
whose house we are at all times welcome. Society 
in Lisbon, or amusements, there are none. The 
opera is closed for want of funds, and in private 
families, that is the few that are in Lisbon, people 
meet of an evening, sometimes with great formality, 
but the change, and distrust of difference of opinion, 
while the French were here, and petty intrigues, 
evidently cast a gloom over every Portuguese. 

In the town, but for the strong English 
Guards and Picquets, the mob would have 

40 LISBON [1808 

murdered, and destroyed the houses of everybody 
connected with the French, and even now, if a 
French deserter, or spy (for I am informed many 
have been detected) is found, the cry of " He 
Francez " is enough, unless some English are near, 
to have him murdered without mercy, and many 
have been murdered. 

I intend setting out from this for Porto about 
the end of next week, with Fre Bernardo. We 
shall travel slow as I wish to see Coimbra, and am 
not yet equal to long journeys, though quite wonder- 
fully recovered, considering how ill I was. I will 
write as soon as I arrive there and have seen how 
things are going on. I am very anxious to hear 
from some of my dear friends. Except a letter of 
the 3rd from Hardy I have not a line from home, 
though all my friends have heard since, and there- 
fore suppose my letters are wandering about Lisbon. 
I have made every enquiry for them. Having 
been so little out, nobody knows where I am to be 
found, and I fear they are lost, if any came. In 
future pray direct to the care of Senhor Carlos Oniel 
or any of your correspondents, who will easily find me 
out. I called yesterday on Madame Mantzoro. 
She received me with great politeness and attention, 
and desired me to remember her most kindly to you 
and my Uncle. She and all the family are well. 

If the 23rd have sailed, or are to sail, and that 
Genl. Ferguson should not return, or be employed 
elsewhere, pray send me out the things I wrote for, 
and also in addition a white Dragoon sword-belt which 
is in George Street ; and from Hoby, who had my 
measure, two pairs of long Regent boots, but these 
only if 23rd should embark, and the General not be 


employed, as if he is, I should hope he would wish 
to have me with him anywhere. I long to see him 
back here. In his absence I am quite desamparado} 
Adieu, my dear Father. Daily in my own quiet 
hermitage, . . . 

When I think of my own native land, 
In a moment I seem to be there ; 

But alas ! recollection at hand, 
Soon hurries me back to despair ; 

" to despair" is too strong, but certainly to great 
Saudades. Pray remember me to all my friends 
also in the village, and believe me ever, Yr. most 
affectionate and dutiful Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

PS. — Lane the tailor having sent me a coat I 
cannot wear, it is so tight, and with Buff lining, I 
have written to him for the last he shall ever make 
for me, though he alone has my measure, and I will 
thank you to send it to me to this place, as soon as 
possible, as I have not a coat to wear of an evening, 
owing to this disappointment. Pray direct your 
next to Porto, as I shall most probably be there for 
the next month or 6 weeks, unless something 
unexpected happens. We have sent 8000 men to 
Elvas and several Regiments into Cantonments at 
Abrantes, Santarem, Almeida, etc., etc., which does 
not look like the armies moving at present into 
Spain — to re-embark, there are but few Transports. 
4000 Dons were to sail to-day for Barcelona. 

1 "Unsupported." 



Between the 29th of September and the 23rd of 
December 1808 no letters have been preserved in 
this collection. But in the interval much had 

After the Convention of Cintra, the French 
evacuated Portugal, though slowly. It was not 
until the second week of October that the last of 
them were embarked. The exasperation of the 
Portuguese against them, as well as against the 
Convention, was great, and it was with difficulty in 
some cases that they were protected from the fury 
of the populace in Lisbon and in Oporto. 

In the month of October, Sir John Moore took 
over the command of the British army. He found 
to his hand a fine body of troops, but an absolute 
want of organisation as regards transport and 
commissariat. It was a full month before he was 
able to move, and even then want of knowledge of 
the roads led to the sending round of the Artillery 
with Sir John Hope by a circuitous route, causing 
many days' delay. During the whole of this time, 
great pressure was brought to bear on him, urging 
him to advance towards Madrid to the support of 
the patriot armies in Spain. On nth November 



he entered Spain, and reached Salamanca on the 1 3th, 
but it was not till 23rd November that his army 
was concentrated. A force under Sir David Baird, 
which had been landed at Corunna, was ordered to 
move through Galicia and to effect a junction with 
him, which, however, owing to counter orders which 
were in turn countermanded, did not take place till 
nearly a month later. 

Meanwhile, Napoleon, set free for the moment 
from complications in Central Europe by the Treaty 
of Erfurth, was pouring reinforcements amounting 
to 200,000 men into the Peninsula. 

The Spaniards, defeated utterly at Burgos 
(10th November), at Espinosa (nth November), 
and at Tudela (23rd November), were now practically 
without any organised force in the field, and it 
seemed as if Sir John Moore would find himself in 
the presence of overwhelming French forces. 

Fortunately for the British army, Napoleon, who 
arrived at Madrid on 4th December, was unaware 
of the position of Moore at Salamanca, and believed 
that the English were in full retreat for Lisbon. 

On 13th December, an intercepted dispatch 
revealed to Moore the distribution of the French 
forces, and more especially the isolated position of 
Soult with 16,000 men at Saldana. Accordingly, he 
determined to move north to Mayorga, where on 
20th December he was joined by Baird. On 21st 
December, the combat of Sahagun occurred, the 
most brilliant exploit on the part of the British 
cavalry during the whole war. 1 

On the evening of 23rd December, when the 
army was just starting to attack Soult at Saldana, 
Moore received the news that Napoleon had turned 
north from Madrid and was hastening with all his 
forces to overwhelm him. 

The letter of William Warre dated 23rd 

1 Vide Oman, vol. i., sec. viii., chap. iv. 


December, 5.30 p.m., is singular in noting the 
exact time at which the orders were given to march 
against Soult at Saldafia. Among the letters it is 
unique in its tone, as if the writer was oppressed 
with a presentiment that he was marching to his 
death. It reflects in some measure the feeling 
which had been current in the army owing to the 
period of uncertainty and disappointment through 
which it had been passing. Within half an hour of 
the time at which the letter was written, Moore had 
received the news of Napoleon's advance. The 
columns which had marched to attack Soult were 
ordered to return to Sahagun, and within twelve 
hours the celebrated retreat on Corunna had begun. 
The next letter belongs to 1809. 

The new year saw the army of Sir John Moore 
toiling through the snows of the highlands of 
Galicia on its disastrous retreat to Corunna, of the 
miseries of which a glimpse is given in Letter of 
4th January 1809 from near Lugo. 

Then came the battle of Corunna, and the 
tragic death of the Commander of the army in the 
moment of victory. General Beresford's Brigade 
covered the embarkation. The General and his 
A.D.C. were the last men to get into the boats. 

They arrived safely at Plymouth in H.M.S. 
Barfleur on 23rd January. But the stay at home 
was not to be for long. 

Before the end of February, Beresford, who 
understood and spoke Portuguese, was appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese army. 
He retained the services of Captain Warre as his 
A.D.C. They arrived in Lisbon early in March. 

The work before him was the organisation of 
the Portuguese forces, a task of no little magnitude 
and difficulty, to which there is abundant reference 
in the letters. 

Sir A. Wellesley arrived in Lisbon towards the 


end of April, and within a short time important 
movements were on foot. The French under 
Marshal Soult had moved southwards from Galicia, 
and in March had taken Oporto. 

Before the end of May, Sir A. Wellesley had 
retaken Oporto, and Soult had been driven north- 
ward, leaving his baggage and artillery and his sick 
behind him, into the wilds of Galicia. 

There followed, after an interval, the summer 
campaign, which ended with the battle of Talavera. 
After this, owing to the behaviour of the Spaniards, 
the British army retired on Badajos, and went into 

The Portuguese army, which had not taken any 
part in the Talavera campaign, was meantime grow- 
ing steadily in numbers and discipline. 

In October the Spaniards gained a victory at 
Tamames, but in November suffered two disastrous 
defeats at Ocana and Alba de Tormes. 

Peace had now been made between France 
and Austria, and the French paused while awaiting 
the reinforcements which were pouring into the 
Peninsula preparatory to an attack on Portugal, and 
the attempt to drive the British army to the sea. 

During this year Captain Warre was fully 
occupied with the work of organising the Portu- 
guese forces, translating drill books, visiting and 
inspecting various corps, and other necessary work. 
His time was much disturbed by two anxieties. 
His servant Rankin, of whom he had thought well 
(see Letter of 23rd December 1808), turned out to 
be a rogue and a thief. He was tried by Court 
Martial and shot, in accordance with the severity of 
martial law which was prevalent at the time. 

His elder sister, Clara, who was a Roman 
Catholic, had taken the veil and was a nun in the 
convent at Lamego. On the invasion of Portugal 
by the French from the north, the question of how 


she could be removed into a place of safety 
exercised her brother's mind greatly. The French 
were notorious for their ill-treatment of convents 
and other ecclesiastical establishments. But the 
difficulties in the way of her removal, added to her 
own desire to stay with the rest of the nuns, were 

Fortunately, after Soult retired from Oporto, 
they were not molested, and the good lady lived on 
to a good old age in the convent at Lamego. 

The letters to his father with regard to expenses, 
which the latter deemed excessive, illustrate the 
financial difficulties with which a good many officers 
serving in the field and their families must have 
been troubled during those years of strife and bad 

A note on the back of the last Letter of the 
year seems to indicate the nature of a reply to 
application for clothing for the Portuguese troops 
made to some English firm. 



(5! leagues from Saldanha), 
Dec. 23, 1808, |-past 5 P.M. 

Though, as you will suppose, my beloved Parents, 
not a little hurried, I cannot leave this place to 
march towards the enemy at Saldanha, without a 
few lines, which although I am sure not necessary to 
convince you how much I feel, or how grateful for all 
the affection, love, and kindness I have ever received, 
will I am sure be a gratification in case of the worst. 
Should I fall, my dearest friends, do not grieve for me. 
It has been the fate of many and much finer fellows 


than I am, and I fall in a just and glorious cause, 
trusting to my God and my Saviour to forgive me 
and have mercy on my soul. I do not know 
of any crime that I have committed, that should 
make me fear death, but we are all liable to err. 
At all events I have not disgraced myself or my 
family. That would be worse than a hundred 
deaths, or to lose your affection. 

The French are at Saldanha, 5f leagues from 
this. We march at 6 this evening to arrive at 
daybreak, not much over-matched in numbers. I 
have not a doubt of the issue of the contest. Our 
cavalry have hitherto behaved most gallantly and 
taken in all from 500 to 800 men, great booty, and 
26 officers. 

Rankin has served me very faithfully and 
honestly, particularly during my severe illness. I 
would like him to have his discharge bought, and 
iO;£ to take him home. We shall have a cold 
march to-night, but shall be warm when we see 
these so vaunted robbers. The Last Bugle 
sounds. Adieu, may every happiness attend my 
dearest Parents. Do not regret, I conjure you, the 
loss of an individual in so glorious a cause. Your 
ever attached and affecte. son, 

Wm. Warre. 

My heavy baggage is at Lisbon at Senhor 
Manoel de Mac^edos, 6& Rua das Tunas. 

48 SOBRADO [1809 

Sobrado, between Lugo and St Jago, 
Jany. 4, 1809. 

My Dearest Father, 

I have only time to say I am quite 
well, thank God. We have been rather harassed 
lately, having retreated from Sahagun to this place 
sometimes by night and forced marches, which 
have nearly knocked up all our men. We have 
not halted for 22 days, and marched in that time 
near 70 leagues. For myself I have fared very 
well compared to officers not on the Staff and men. 
I suppose no men ever did more, or any army, 
some even officers barefoot. 

We are now ordered this instant to return to 
Lugo, which has disappointed our hopes of return- 
ing home. For this country we can do nothing. 
They will do nothing for themselves. Never have 
a nation been more infamously deceived than the 
English about this country. The people are willing, 
I believe, but neither army, officers, clothes or 
anything necessary ; and I fear many traitors. 
We have not seen, since we have been in the 
country, a symptom of organisation, or, till lately, 
even a Recruit. Nothing can be more really 
despicable than their army, and in want of every- 
thing ; though in abundance — Such miserable 
arrangement ! In short, I have no hopes of any 
success, and am not a little annoyed at our 

I had intended to go to Porto, and had leave 
if we quitted the country. I might be of use to my 
family, particularly my dear Uncle, in getting his 


things away. My name would, I know, and some 
firmness be required. Clara could not remain in 
Portugal. From some French officers, Prisoners 
to us, I know Priests, Nuns, and Friars, would not 
be spared. Write to me implicitly your wishes on 
this head. I dare any trouble or risk, you know, for 
any of my Family. Also send your instructions as 
to my conduct at Porto, and if your letter is likely 
to reach me in time, whether I shall go there or no. 
I can get leave, I know, and intended going from 
St Jago. 

Kindest love to my beloved Mother, Brothers 
and Sisters, and to my Uncles. I have never had an 
opportunity even of writing to say I am well, and 
am uncertain whether you will ever receive this. 
Pray write to me. I have no greater happiness 
than your letters. I have only received yrs. of 24th 
Dec. in postscript to my Uncle's, and one before 
(date I cannot recollect), also one from Genl. 
Ferguson, whom I shall be most happy to see, 
though I rejoice that he has escaped this winter 
campaign. I never wish to serve another, particu- 
larly for such a morose uncivil set, who will only 
talk. Adieu, may God bless you all, and may 
I soon have the happiness of embracing you. 
Remember me most kindly to the Adamsons, and 
believe me, ever most affectionately yours in the 
greatest haste, W. W. 

P.S. — Everything should be moved from Porto, 
I think. I will write by first opportunity. 

Our cavalry have distinguished themselves. 
This letter in perfect confidence from Yrs. 

W. W. 


50 H.M.S. BARFLEUR [1809 

We have had tremendous weather, particularly 
during our march over the mountains. As long as 
I have health, however, I do not care for myself, 
though I am not yet really hardened enough to misery 
and wretchedness, not to be unhappy at contemplat- 
ing the miseries of war in our men and the wretched 
inhabitants of the country. May our beloved 
country never be a scene of warfare. Better \ of 
its men should die on the beach. 

Barfteur, at Sea, 

Jany. 18, 1809. 

My Dearest Friends, 

I have just time to say I am quite 
well, and happy in the prospect of soon seeing all 
my beloved friends, after our disastrous and most 
harassing retreat from Lugo. We arrived at 
Coruna and found no transports, they arrived a few 
days after, but before we could embark the French 
attacked us on the 16th, with all their force, in our 
most disadvantageous position. They were repulsed 
by a valour which only English troops can possess, 
though exposed to a tremendous commanding fire of 
cannon. Poor Sir John Moore was killed. Sir 
David Baird lost his arm. Our loss in killed and 
wounded is very great, though not so much as that 
of the enemy. 

Our Brigade, which was in the Town to cover 
the embarkation, moved to cover a road to the right 
of the position, but were not attacked, or engaged 
at all, as was expected. We were therefore 
contemplators only of the gallant and astonishing 


firmness of our comrades. The 50th and the 42nd 
suffered most. 

During the night most of our army embarked. 
Genl. Beresford's Brigade covered the embarkation, 
having retired into the works of the town. The 
French approached in the morning close to us. 
We gave them a warm reception with our 24 prs. 
assisted by the Spaniards, who on this occasion 
behaved very well. The enemy fired on our 
transports most, and several went on shore and 
were lost in the confusion. Our situation was 
most critical all the next day and night, till (we) 
embarked the whole, about one in the morning. 

Fortunately the enemy did not fire on the town, 
and suffered us to embark, (or were totally ignorant 
of it), without annoying us. We were very weak, 
just enough to man the works, and dreaded an 
assault, the boats being able to take only 500 at a 
time, and weather very bad. However* we not 
only got ourselves but most of the wounded in 
safety, though all most overcome with fatigue. 

Adieu, in hopes of soon seeing you, My dearest 
Parents. Kindest love to all my friends, from your 
most affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

(Note, in Henry Warre's writing, " Received 24th 
Jany. at night.") 

Plymouth, J any. 23, 1809. 
At last, my Dearest Mother, I have the happi- 
ness to tell you of our safe arrival at this place. 
I wrote a few lines in a great hurry from off Coruna, 

52 PLYMOUTH [1809 

which I hope you received. I long to reach town, 
and shall set off as soon as possible in a chaise, 
with Col. Douglas of Wycombe. We go by Bath, 
where we shall shake the Hardies by the hand, and 
in 4 days shall, I hope, embrace all my beloved 
family. I am very far from well, and most in need 
of rest. A constant bowel complaint, occasioned 
by fatigue and being constantly wet, has pulled me 
down very much. I am a mere skeleton, but 
rest and the happiness of seeing all that is dearest 
to me will soon, I think, recover me. 

To describe our anxiety, and what we went 
through at Coruiia the last day and night, is not 
easy. Suffice it to say, we had (but for Mr Samuel 
How) been left behind, and now instead of being 
in our dear native country, should have been march- 
ing prisoners to France. The thought even now 
makes me shudder. Nearly exhausted and 
harassed to death, we were in a bad state to 
undertake such a journey. We, however, were 
more fortunate and brought off all our sick and 
wounded except very few. 

Don't forget our last conversation. I have 
indulged in it in my most distressing moments. 
What a spur it has been to exertion I leave you 
to guess. 

Adieu ; kindest love to my dear Father, Emily, 
Uncle Wm., etc., etc., etc., from, Dearest Mother, 
Your most truly Affectionate 

Wm. Warre. 

P.S. — Pray buy me some worsted socks very 
long in the feet, I am almost naked as to foot, 
having worn my present pair at least ten days. 


Lisbon, March 3, 1809. 

My Dearest Father, 

We arrived here yesterday, safe and 
well, after a very pleasant voyage of 8 days. The 
Portuguese are in high spirits, and promise well. 
They have had some skirmishing on the Minho, 
and repulsed the French, whose numbers we know 
nothing certain of. Of course these accounts are 
much exaggerated, but if they can be made to think 
they can resist, and stand fire, it is a great point. 

As to our own destination I as yet know no- 
thing. The Portuguese army is on the frontier 
towards Monte Rey. I suppose we shall join 
them. Romana is near there, and, I hear, has 
collected a considerable force, and is in spirits as 
is the Marquez de Valliadacen, who is with them. 
It is, it seems, the general opinion that the French 
under Thornier, about 10,000 men, will endeavour 
to penetrate by the Minho, and that the Portuguese 
are determined to give them fight. By the last 
accounts from the frontier not a Frenchman had 
passed it. Something may yet be done. 

The Spaniards under Cuesta and the Duke of 
Infantado have advanced towards the border of the 
Sierra Morena nearest Madrid, and at least our 
official accounts tell us that they speak with 
confidence, and are in high spirits. Romana wants 
nothing but ammunition, which has been sent, and 
we spoke at sea and brought into this with us a 
Spanish schooner with 105,000 dollars for the 
Asturians, who has proceeded. 

Every thing that I hear confirms my opinion 

54 LISBON [1809 

that our retreat from Spain, etc., etc., etc., was 
inconsiderate, and I fear will place us in rather 
a disgraceful light. This entre nous. The French 
after they entered Corufia acknowledged having 
lost iooo men killed on the 16th, and of course 
more than as many wounded. They spoke highly 
of the bravery of our men. This we have from 
the General's Italian servants, whom we left there, 
and who were in Gurea's house when Laborde took 
up his Quarters there. This I believe certain, that 
Buonaparte has returned to Paris, and taken his 
Imperial Guards with him. 

The Brest fleet 16 S. L. and 3 frigates is out. 
We were becalmed off Cape Finisterre only a few 
hours before they came up bringing the breeze. 
It was a narrow escape. Yesterday Sir John 
Duckworth was off here with 1 1 S. L. and 2 frigates, 
and was joined from here by 2 S. L., the Norge 
and Conqueror, and is in pursuit of them. God send 
he may come up with them. The issue is not 

So much for Public News. I send on mere 
reports, though I do not entirely vouch for the 
whole being true. The Portuguese are very 
anxious for Sir Arthur Wellesley. They think he 
would do everything that is possible. Nothing can 
exceed the high idea they have of him, and they 
are right. 

I am very sorry to tell you that I hear Alvez 
had not shipped any of your wines, and had near 
340 pipes on hand. They complain of want of 
instructions from you, but could, I believe, if he 
had exerted himself, have got freight for most. 
Ignorant as I am of business, and particularly of 


the instructions you may have given him, I feel 
great delicacy in writing and giving any orders. 
He never, I think, can have received my letter from 
Coruna. Croft certainly did not. I shall write to 
him by to-morrow post, desiring him to give me an 
account of how your affairs are, at the same time 
taking upon myself to desire him, if not contrary to 
any instructions he may have received from you, 
to charter at all events a vessel to ship off all your 
wines (if he can get one), but to wait for convoy 
unless the business presses very much. Though 
things look brighter than I expected, the fate of 
war is so uncertain, and the odds are against us, 
so that I think no time should be lost. I should 
have chartered a vessel here, but on consulting with 
our worthy friend James Butler, he seems not to 
think it worth while till I hear from Alvez, and 
there is no English ship at present in this port. 
I have felt much distressed at this apparent want of 
foresight, but suppose the last packet must have 
brought him your instructions. Nothing can be 
kinder than the interest that Wm. Naylor and 
Butler take in your concerns, but with great 
delicacy. It was said on Change at Porto that 
several Packets only brought 2 letters from my 
Uncle to John Benito, which caused a smile. I 
write this to you, my dearest Friend, because these 
sort of smiles, I fear, do much harm in business. 
This I heard from other quarters. Croft is here, 
but I have not yet met him. My heavy baggage, 
which was left here, I will send by the Amazon 
to England. I write this by the Peacock sloop of 
war, though in great haste. I am quite well. 
I have so many things to do and think of that 

56 LISBON [1809 

I hope I shall not have time to be sick. I will 
write again by the first opportunity. In meantime 
may God bless and preserve you all. Give my 
kindest and warmest love to my dearest Mother, 
etc., etc., and from Yr. ever most affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

The weather is most delightful though very 
warm. The change from England is very striking. 

I hope the wines I ordered from Spain, have or 
will be sent. 

Lisbon, April i, 1809. 

My Dearest Father, 

In addition to what I wrote to my 
mother by this Conveyance, the Diligent Gun Brig, 
which has been delayed by the Bar, I have merely 
time to communicate the very disastrous news of 
the taking of Porto by the French. We have as 
yet received no particulars, and only know that the 
Bishop, and one British officer, Captn. Arenschild 
of Artillery, the G. Legion, were arrived at 

From the complete state of insubordination of 
the populace of that city, this event we have for 
some time foreseen, and in the state of indiscipline 
and insubordination of the Portuguese army, any 
assistance we could have sent would have, I much 
fear, only added to our loss, as they would have 
been also hurried away by, and as intractable as, 
the mob, who, cruel and sanguinary to an excess 


against themselves or prisoners, are always timid 
and cowardly. They have assassinated many people 
there, amongst others Oliveira the former Governor, 
who was in gaol. They also murdered nine or ten 
French prisoners, and let all the felons loose. 
Such was their wretched state that they would obey 
no one, and rendered it highly dangerous to 
attempt any plan to secure a retreat, in case of 
accidents, as you would risk being murdered. I 
therefore fear our loss in men and arms very great, 
but we have no details. 

The Mob, some days before, broke into a 
magazine of arms, which they plundered, and then 
seized the Fort of St Johns, allowing no ship to 
go out. I have therefore every reason to fear your 
ship with wine, which was loaded, was unable to get 
out. The Captain had moved over to the other side 
of the water, which is however within shot. The 
wines in the Lodges, if they have, as I hope, 
destroyed the Bridge, are still safe, for bad as this 
news is, I have still hopes that Soult and his 
division are in a bad scrape, and weaker in numbers 
than generally supposed. The Provinces behind 
him are in a state of insurrection, and I trust 
Silveira will get into their rear, as he is now 
disembarrassed by the taking (by him) of the Fort 
of St Francisco at Chaves, with 870, added to 200 
in Chaves, when he before entered, who were sick, 
upwards of a thousand, and 300 killed. He has 
also taken more mules, horses, artillery, etc., etc;, 
than were in the place when taken by the French, 
and his own loss trifling. 

Galicia is certainly in a state of complete 
insurrection and full of enthusiasm and spirit. 


They have summoned Vigo, and given the French 
garrison only 24 hours to decide in. Tuy is also 
surrounded and expected to fall. Thus the retreat 
or communications of Soult's Corps (of whose 
numbers we are ignorant, but cannot believe exceed 
15,000 men) are pretty well cut off, and, unless 
supported by the Corps, which threatens us by the 
banks of the Tagus, and at present besieges 
Ciudad Rodrigo, will, I hope, be destroyed. 

We have also a report here to-day that the 
Duke of Albuquerque and Cuesta have joined and 
given Victor a beating, which we give little credit 
to, as we knew of Victor's precipitate retreat from 
pursuing Cuesta towards the South, and being 
followed by that General, whose retreat was a very 
masterly movement, and I suspect had really drawn 
the French into a cul de sac, which they discovered 
before it was intended they should, but late enough 
to enable their rear to be turned. Urbina, it is 
said, is advancing towards Madrid. If Austria 
would but declare, everything might yet go well. 

Our friend Whittingham has distinguished 
himself very much, and been thanked in orders by 
the Spanish General, I am not sure which. He 
was quite well with the Carolina army. The people 
here are quiet at present, though not much pleased 
with the inactivity of the English force. They are 
great fools, and know nothing about the matter, 
though I myself wish our people would make a 
movement. Adieu, in great haste, with kindest 
love to all at home, ever yr. most affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 
Major P.F., Aide-de-Camp. 


April 7, 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

I take the opportunity of Fred Crofts 
going in the Amazon to send you receipts for my 
Staff pay. I also yesterday drew on you, dated 5th 
inst., to Dr Deane or order £$6, 10s, amount of a 
Spanish horse bought of him, and which by pro- 
viding me with two horses renders it unnecessary 
you should be at any trouble about buying me any, 
as the General having given me one, I have now 3, 
which is enough. 

Croft will tell you all the news and all about me, 
which it is out of my power to do now myself, as 
Croft will tell you. We leave this to-morrow for 
the army at Thomar, which the Marshal is going 
to take Command of. 

By the Amazon I have sent all my heavy bag- 
gage, five cases, etc., and some sweetmeats, which 
pray send to Ferguson to present to Mrs Ferguson 
with my best respects. I have also sent some 
chains directed to my Mother, which she will be so 
good as to distribute as directed. I am most 
anxious to hear from you and will write myself on 
the first opportunity. 

As I have only time now to beg my kindest love, 
and assure you I am ever most Affectionately Yours, 

Wm. Warre. 

60 THOMAR [1809 

Hdqrs., Thomar, 

April 27, 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

Many thanks for your very affec- 
tionate letters of the 10th, 7th, 5th April, which I 
received all together, and which were most pleasing 
to me, whose happiness so much depends upon 
your approval of my conduct. 

You will long before this arrives have heard of 
the melancholy fate of Oporto. It did not in the 
least surprise me. I was sure it would be taken 
the moment it was attacked in earnest ; the 
inevitable consequence of insubordination and 
anarchy. I hope you had ensured your property. 

I was of course delighted to use every exertion in 
my power, and am very much indebted to Mr Villiers 
for his friendly assistance. Long before the crisis 
he offered me a transport or more to go round and 
bring away the property, which I refused in 
consequence of letters from Pedro Alvez stating 
that one ship was arrived, and another daily 
expected, and fearing that the expense of chartering 
them would be lost. At the same time I was 
unaware of how little resistance would be made at 
Braga, and the Passes of Salamonde, etc. Since 
that Mr Villiers wrote, as did also Noble, very 
strong letters to Capt. Loring of the Niobe to 
render every assistance, but these were too late and 
have since been returned to me, as also one you 
wrote to Chiappe with some accounts, which I 
opened, and have ready to deliver when an oppor- 


tunity, I trust not very remote, shall enable me, as 
also those you send me now. 

We expect to march immediately to drive that 
miscreant Soult out of Porto. The General went 
two days ago to Lisbon to meet Sir A. Wellesley, 
and as soon as he returns this evening or to-morrow, 
we shall all advance. I was left here to continue 
to form the Algarve Brigade, the finest in the 
service, and who march to-morrow morning. 

I have every hope that Soult has committed 
himself by his rapid advance, and since detached 
Corps, one of which 7 to 8000 have attacked 
Silveira at Amarante two days successively. He has 
defended himself bravely as did the Regt. No. 9 
(Pena Macor) commanded by Major Patrick, who 
came over with us, and who is, poor fellow, I fear, 
badly wounded, after distinguishing himself very 
much. Silveira expected to be attacked next 
morning, and will, I fear, not be able to resist, 
as the Militias and Ordenanca had abandoned 

Victor has called everything to him near 
Merida, from Salamanca, and even Zamora, which 
looks as if he was close pressed, and leaves our 
Eastern frontier unmenaced for the present. 

Cuesta has certainly reassembled 20,000 Infantry 
and 5500 horse and has pushed forward his 
advanced guards. If the Spaniards can reassemble 
their armies in so short a time after being dispersed 
they must in the end destroy the French, unless 
they receive great succours, which I believe impos- 

My friend Col. D' Urban, who was in the battle 
of Medellin, assures me he never saw any troops 

62 THOMAR [1809 

behave better than the Infantry, or worse than the 
Cavalry, of Cuesta's army. And I think this was, 
as well as the loss of the army, in a great measure 
owing to Cuesta's bad order of battle, in the 
extended line without any reserve whatever, his 
Cavalry in the first line advancing with the Infantry 
at their pace, and his having allowed the enemy to 
pass the Bridge of Medellin and deploy before he 
attacked them. He committed the same fault at 
Rio Seco, and suffered for it. It appears an 
infatuation, and as unaccountable as Victor's not 
attempting to pursue the Spaniards, who fled in 
confusion, even with his Cavalry, which leads me 
to suppose he must have suffered more than we are 
aware of. 

The enemy have occupied Valenca de Tuy 
without resistance, Vianna, Ponte de Lima, Penafiel, 
and desolated these unhappy countries. On this 
side their posts are at Ovar and on the Vouga, and 
our advance on this side of that river, under Col. 
Trant. They have constant skirmishes which 
signify nothing except wasting ammunition. In 
Porto itself there are not above 800 or 1000 men, 
and they are organising a Portuguese Legion, for 
which they have got some men. 

I was in a state of the greatest anxiety about 
poor dear Clara, to whom I had written several 
letters without receiving an answer, till yesterday, 
when, by a letter from my worthy friend Bettrao, 
I heard she with the rest of the ladies had quitted 
the convent on the news of the approach of the 
French, and their entering Porto, and had travelled 
on foot over the mountains to Mesao Frio, and then 
to Ancede, where she now is with another nun, a 


friend of hers, with some of Fre Bernardo's 
relations who have afforded her every protection, 
and he has written to them to give her every 
assistance. She was quite well, he tells me. I 
immediately despatched John Benito by the extra 
post, with a letter to her and 1 5 Pieces, besides an 
order for 15 more, in case of necessity, desiring him 
to stay with her as servant, and to remove her as 
a guard, in case of absolute necessity towards 
Lisbon, where I intend to place her with S r Lucas 
de Siabra's family, if she is forced to fly, till I can 
make some proper arrangement. If danger should 
not press, she is to stay where she is, till I can get 
away to see her myself and make other arrange- 
ments. At present the chances of war are so 
uncertain that I think she is better out of the 
convent, the marked objects of vengeance to these 
unprincipled invaders. Fre Bernardo, to whom I 
have sent John Benito, (in whom I have every 
confidence from his attachment to our family and 
honesty), will give him the orders he thinks 
necessary, and he will stay with her as her servant, 
and in case of removal guard, till I can make any 
other arrangement. 

I have got three pretty good horses and there- 
fore, unless you have already sent them, do not 
think it worth while being at the expense of sending 
out any more. 

The Portuguese troops immediately under the 
instruction of British officers are coming on very 
well. I could have wished we had been allowed 
more time, but even now have great hopes of some 
corps. The men may be made anything we please 
of, with proper management, and, wherever I have 

64 THOMAH [1809 

had authority, I have soon settled the little mean 
jealousies and tricks of the officers, and without, I 
hope, gaining much ill will. I endeavour to com- 
bine inflexible firmness with politeness of manner. 
I know it is the only way to make these fellows 
respect you, and the mass of officers is miserable 
indeed. This, however, will in time be altered. 
Merit is the great recommendation with the 
General, not grey hairs and number of years 
service, however much to be respected, for these 
Subalterns, some of whom should be anything but 

I am very happy to hear the 23rd are coming 
out to this country, and should like much to join 
them, if I could with propriety. It is a fine dashing 
service, but this I fear is impossible, and I begin to 
learn the necessity of commanding my wishes 
and feelings. At all events I completely agree 
with you that it would be folly to quit the 
Dragoons, when I have two years longer to serve 
as Captn., and God knows what changes may occur 
in that period. 

Every officer I have heard speak on the subject 
is much dissatisfied with the new C. in C, particu- 
larly those who most know him ; and, setting H. R. 
Highness's morality aside, he did incalculable good 
to the army, and I am sure we cannot have a better, 
at least that I know of, and this is the opinion of, 
I believe, the majority of the army. 

By the new regulations of service we shall have 
Brigadiers at 60 years of age, and Generals in 
night cap and slippers, prudent and inactive as they 
formerly were, and as the Portuguese are. It is 
surprising that people can suppose a man unfit to 


command, till he has attained an age at which 
enterprise and activity generally cease. I should 
not be surprised to see some years hence advertised 
in the papers of the day restorative cordials for 
Generals taking commands, or paterit easy-chairs 
for foreign service, addressed to the Generals of 
the British army. 

I am much obliged to you for your kind atten- 
tion to Custine's letter, 1 and the advance of io£. I 
would not wish you to commit yourself in cashing 
his bills to any considerable amount. He was once 
in Germany very civil to me, and I am happy to 
be able to repay him. I should have been better 
satisfied with the parole d'honneur of a gentleman, 
than that of a French officer, which goes very little 
way in my opinion. He is a prisoner, and in 
distress, poor fellow. I therefore in moderation 
will be very happy to afford him some assistance, 
and I hope he will not deceive the idea I have 
formed of him. 

I have just heard that the 3rd and 4th heavy 
Dragoons are arrived and landed at Lisbon. 

My Boots, etc., will be a valuable acquisition to 
me, and which, as well as the plans you are so good 
as to send, are arrived. 

Pray give my kindest love to all at Home, 
from, my Dearest Father, your ever Affectionate 
and Dutiful Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I wrote two days ago to my mother, and suppose 
the letter will go by the same conveyance as this. 

1 See Memoir, and p. 101. 


66 LISBON [1809 

Lisbon, 13th July, 1809. 
My Dear Father, 

Though I wrote to you a very long 
letter by last Packet, and am now somewhat prest 
for time, I will not delay thanking you for your 
affectionate letters of 20th of May and 1st of June, 
which did not reach me till yesterday, having 
travelled to Porto and back again after me, and in 
it my uncle Wm's. very kind letter of 20th May, for 
which pray thank him with my kindest love, and 
tell him I will answer very shortly, as also Hardy's, 
whose entire recovery gives me the sincerest 
pleasure, and I hope soon to hear that he has got a 
ship. At a time when so much is doing in all parts 
of the world, I know it must be irksome to him to 
be unemployed. 

We were to have left this place yesterday 
to join the army assembled about Guarda, etc., and 
to advance into Spain as an army of observation, 
but business has prevented the General, and we 
only set off to-morrow morning, and proceed direct 
to Guarda, where we shall remain but a few days, I 

Most of the English officers who came over to 
join the Portuguese army have accepted the Pay. 
I have however refused it, as I cannot see any 
credit in serving them for the pittance of Pay, 
particularly when I know they are so poor they 
cannot pay their own Officers. Besides, I consider 
that receiving Pay invalidates in some measure my 
claims on future promotion in my own service, and 
in some degree deprives me, I consider, of the right 


of quitting this when I choose. I am ready, as I 
told the Marshal, to exert myself for the service of 
this Country without being any weight or charge to 
them. They have certainly some claims to my 
service from the kindness my family has for a long 
series of years experienced, and if H.R.H. hereafter 
chooses to reward me in the end, he can do so, 
without my being an expense to his Government, 
and, if he does not, I am pretty tolerably indifferent, 
and shall be satisfied with having done my duty. I 
certainly very much dislike this service and their 
mean intrigue and absurd presumption, which 
shades their good qualities, and would therefore 
avoid any possible reason for my being kept with it 
longer than suits my convenience and I consider 
my duty requires. I hope you therefore will 
approve of my having declined any emolument for 
my services. 

The conduct of the English Government in 
refusing the step of rank to those Officers who 
have come out, or, being here appointed, have 
joined the Army, is very extraordinary. They now 
have only an additional step in the Portuguese, and 
the pay of both. I am astonished any British 
officer will come out on these terms. 

I will write to you whenever an opportunity 
occurs. In the meantime, my Dearest Father, give 
my kindest love to all at Home, and believe me 
Affectionately Your Dutiful Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I do not send the certificate of horses lost at 
Corufia, as we have written home for the printed 

68 LACEBO [1809 

form, when I shall know how it is to be filled up. 

Laceco, \oth August^ 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

An unfortunate accident of having 
dislocated the knuckles of my right hand, and 
having broke one of the small bones, obliges me to 
apply to my friend Captn. Souza to serve as an 
amanuensis. It being now nearly a month since 
the accident happened, I am afraid you will be very 
anxious to hear from me. I am in other respects 
perfectly well, and so far recovered from this, that 
I but yesterday returned from travelling night and 
day to the English Hd. Quarters post and back 
again. I have not yet, however, quite the use of my 

You will long before this have heard of the 
battle of Talavera perhaps the most glorious ever 
gained, if we consider the disproportion of numbers. 
Not having had the good fortune to be present 
I can give no further particulars than you will have 
seen by Sir Arthur's despatch. The attacks were 
most vigorous and repeated by upwards of 40,000 
men in heavy columns, first against the left, then 
the right, and afterwards along the whole British line 
which was occupied by about 19,000 men. Nothing 
however could overcome the steadiness and gallantry 
of our troops. After having been engaged the 
26th and 27th, the greatest part of the night 
between the 27th and 28th, and from daybreak till 
night that day, the enemy was completely repulsed, 


leaving 11,000 killed and wounded on the field, and 
the next morning retired 4 leagues to Sebola. Our 
loss was also very considerable, about 4500 killed 
and wounded. You will be sorry to hear that the 
23rd lost half their men in a charge, and among a 
great many officers wounded are Capt. Howard 
badly, Drake ditto. He was taken and afterwards 
released by the enemy, Allen wounded and taken, 
D. W. Russell slightly, Frankland slightly, Lieut. 
Anderson badly, and 226 men killed and wounded. 
I saw Col. Seymour and Dance, who are quite well. 
The Regt. was ordered to charge two columns of 
the enemy, who were deploying, but who unfortun- 
ately had time to form square without there being 
time for the order being revoked, and they 
unfortunately persevered in attempting an attack 
which it was impossible should succeed. 

The British army as usual has been deprived of 
the fruits of their glorious victory ; for Soult, Ney, 
and Mortier, having penetrated from Castille to 
Placencia with 34,000 men, added to the impossi- 
bility of placing any dependance upon the Spaniards, 
who during and after the battle of Talavera had re- 
mained, except their Artillery, entirely spectators, 
with 20,000 men, exposing the British army to find- 
ing itself between two fires, besides entirely cutting 
off its retreat and communications with Portugal, 
obliged Sir Arthur to retire by the bridge of 
Arcobispo to the other side of the Tagus ; that of 
Almaraz was already occupied by the enemy. 
Cuesta, who was left at Talavera to keep the army 
of Victor in check, I suppose not feeling very 
confident in his troops, set off after Sir Arthur, 
thus abandoning all such of our wounded, who 

70 LACEBO [1809 

could not crawl along the road, to the enemy, who 
however, it must be confessed, on all occasions have 
treated the English prisoners with great humanity. 

We have moved forward with the Portuguese 
army to occupy the strong passes near this place, 
and assist, as far as we may be able with our small 
force of 12,000 men, the British and Spanish armies, 
the former of which occupies a position on the 
South Bank of the Tagus at Almaraz, the latter at 
Ar^obispo. The names of these passes are Perales 
and Gata and are at four leagues distance from 
Coria. The French have advanced towards 
Talavera from Placencia. Our army are in very 
good spirits, and will, I have no doubt, maintain 
their character better than their neighbours, in 
whom, you know, I never had much confidence. 

I am happy to tell you that Jack Prince is well, 
also Genl. Fane. Poor Milman is badly wounded, 
as is Sir W. Sheridan. 

I am much obliged to you for the boots and my 
glass, which I have received, and which I was in 
great want of. 

I will write to you again the moment I am able, 
and in the meantime I have only to add that I 
remain, my dear Father, with love to all at home, 
Your very affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre, A. B.C. 

I beg you will believe my hand is really of no 
consequence and nearly well, nor do I find it a bit 
the worse for a ride of fifty hours de suite to the 
British Head Quarters and 36 back, and I am 
otherwise in as good health as I ever was. 


Los Hoyos, August 13. 

I have been unable to forward this letter before to- 
day and have merely to add that my hand is much 
better. We continue near these passes, though we 
made the other day a movement to Salteros, but 
retired again to the same position, and established 
our Head Quarters at this place. I believe Soult's, 
Ney's, etc., army are moving again into Castille by 
Bafios without deigning to take notice of us. The 
cowardly Spaniards have suffered the enemy to pass 
the bridge at Argobispo with very little resistance, 
and now occupy the passes in which I left the 
British army, on its right flank. 

Every day convinces me more strongly that the 
fate of these countries depends entirely upon 
Austria, of which, you may well imagine, we are 
most anxious for positive accounts. We have had 
a French bulletin with accounts of an armistice, 
and other rumours of a peace. But as they have all 
come from the French, I trust unfounded. I hope 
you will let all your arrangements, with regard to 
Portugal, depend upon the successes in Germany. 

Yrs. most affectionately, 

Wm. Warre. 

Salvaterra, August 18, 1809. 
My Dearest Mother, 

I take the opportunity of being able 
to write to give you some account of myself and 
our proceedings. My hand, as you will see by my 

72 SALVATERRA [1809 

being able to write, is nearly well, though still weak. 
I suffered a good deal from it, from not applying 
the proper remedies, and supposing I had merely 
dislocated two of my knuckles, for my hand and 
arm had swelled so much, from travelling day after 
day in the excessive heat, that it was not till I 
arrived at the English Head Quarters express a 
month after, and consulted an English surgeon, 
that I discovered that one of the small bones in the 
back of the hand was broken. Nature, however, 
has joined it, and I trust in a few weeks I shall be 
entirely as strong as ever. It has been a serious 
inconvenience, particularly when near the enemy, 
and expecting to be engaged. Except in writing, 
however, it never has prevented my duty, though 
I confess sometimes, after a sleepless night, I could 
almost have cried from pain and vexation. 

I dictated a letter to my father from Acebo and 
Los Hoyos, fearing you would be very anxious at not 
hearing from me, which I hope has been received. 
We have now made a forward movement to 
Moralega in order to straiten the enemy in his 
foraging. They constantly dislodged a post we 
had at Coria, where they came for provisions, nor 
was it in our power to prevent them, and the 
inhabitants, who had not fled, either from fear or 
treason, seemed more ready to supply them than us, 
so much so in every direction, added to the 
ignorance and want of arrangement in our Com- 
missaries, that our troops have suffered greatly 
from want of provisions, particularly bread. The 
selfish unfriendly conduct of the Spaniards high 
and low, not giving us any hopes of a supply, 
Marshal Beresford has been forced to retreat 


towards this place, on his way to Castello Branco, 
in order to feed his troops, who are in great 
distress, without even seeing the enemy, or his 
making the least forward movement towards us, 
except in small foraging parties, to Coria, near 
where they have caught a valuable convoy of 
English hospital stores, I cannot help thinking, in 
a great measure from the excessive ignorance and 
want of energy in the Purveyor, who was seven days 
considering whether the French would come there 
or not. 

As to the conduct of the Spaniards, both to the 
English and this army, it has been most shameful. 
I shall not enlarge on this disagreeable subject. It 
is enough to say both armies are very much 
irritated. They have every wish that we should 
fight for them, but do not deign to treat us with 
common civility, or our men, when sick or wounded, 
with common humanity. They conceal their 
provisions, drive away their cattle, and when 
possible escape themselves, leaving either friends or 
foes to subsist as well as they can, complaining 
however most loudly and bitterly if a single cabbage 
is taken without leave. When our men have been 
starving they have refused to sell even a loaf, and 
if they did, at a most exorbitant price. They will 
rob your very stores almost in your sight, and, though 
every town and village expects you are to stay for 
its defence, they will not, except forced, contribute 
in any way to assist. This is the complaint, and 
universal in both English and Portuguese armies, 
and as for their soldiers fighting, I never thought 
they would. They never have. The French treat 
them with the utmost contempt. 5300 and odd 

74 SALVATERRA [1809 

brave soldiers of the British were killed or 
wounded at Talavera without 45,000 Spaniards, 
who were present, moving in any way to their 
support ; and since, 3000 wounded of these were 
abandoned by that old brute Cuesta in Talavera, 
contrary to Sir A. Wellesley's orders or intention, 
and without any attack on the part of the enemy. 

This obstinate surly old ignorant fellow is, 
thank God, removed. He was, to say the best of 
him, quite superannuated, and so violent and 
obstinate that everybody feared him but his 

There never was such folly as sending an army 
into Spain again. The character of the Spaniards 
is so selfish, jealous, and proud, with all the surliness 
of Englishmen, and not a spark of their good 
qualities, that a foreign army in their country must 
always risk being abandoned. They, besides, will 
not fight for themselves, and it is impossible 
England alone can defend them. This picture is 
perhaps strong, and I really feel much irritated 
against them, but I am sure it is the opinion of 
almost every individual. The inhabitants fly in all 
directions at the approach of the enemy, and when- 
ever your army comes, they fancy the enemy are 
coming also. You are therefore unable to procure 
subsistence, and of course equally so to defend 
them. The magistrates fly, to avoid the trouble of 
providing you, as everything is concealed. All the 
towns we have been in are nearly abandoned, and 
we have been forced to break into empty houses for 
a lodging. In short, war in any shape is a horrid 
scourge to the inhabitants. 

We are in very low spirits at the bad accounts 


from Austria. A peace in that country will decide 
the fate of these most undoubtedly. We may 
prolong the war and sacrifice many lives, but I am 
convinced that it will be to no purpose, and even 
should Sir A.W., who, it is reported, is to be made 
Commander in Chief in Spain, and a most clever 
fine fellow as ever existed, be able to avert their 
ultimate destruction, another brilliant victory, or 
even more, if the Tyrant overruns Germany, and 
Austria falls, cannot alter my opinion, and I shall 
doubly regret every British life that is lost after that 
country makes peace. 

Poor Whittingham, who is a Brigadier in the 
Spanish Service, was shot through the cheek and 
hurt severely, while endeavouring most gallantly to 
rally a Spanish regiment of cavalry. He is how- 
ever doing well. I am much annoyed at not being 
able to get any account of Harvey. Milman is 
badly wounded. These are the only officers I have 
heard of that you know. Fremantle is well. 

Castello Branco, August 20th. 
We arrived here yesterday, and will, I hope, remain 
some days to refresh our poor patient half-starved 
soldiers, and observe the enemy's motions. A 
strong corps of theirs forced the Pass of Banos 
defended by Sir R. Wilson and about 3000 men, 
Portuguese and Spaniards. They resisted the 
whole day, but had no guns, and were forced to 
retreat to avoid being surrounded. 

It is impossible to judge yet of what the plans 
of the French can be, particularly this Corps, which 


has re-entered Castile and marched towards Sala- 
manca, leaving 10 or 12,000 men at Placencia ; nor 
have I the least idea of what Sir A. Wellesley's 
intentions are. I over and over again wish I was 
with his brave army. It is wretched unsatisfactory 
work being with this ; nothing but constant vexa- 
tion and disgust, particularly of their Officers. 
The men, poor devils, are patient and obedient, 
voila tout, I think, yet the British Officers with the 
regiments think they would fight. I am convinced 
this would depend entirely on circumstances, and 
if they do unfortunately get beaten, I fear they will 
at any rate not hazard it again. What a different 
army I was with a year ago ! How gloriously 
employed where with such soldiers! If Austria 
makes peace, I shall soon have the happiness again 
of embracing my beloved family, for the game will 
be soon settled in these countries. 

I think the French will move towards Zamora, 
and threaten Portugal immediately, to draw away 
our army from this quarter, and Sir A. W., if 
possible, out of Spain, to protect it. 

Adieu, my dearest Mother, kindest love to my 
Father, etc., etc., etc., from Your Ever Affectionate 

Wm. Warre. 

You sent me out last year, which I never got, 
a new Aide-de-Camp's coat. If it is in existence 
and not lost, pray send it to Lisbon to me, as I 
sometimes wear it, and do not wish to make another 
Portuguese, which is very expensive. 


Hd. Qrs., Lisbon, Sept. 6, 1809. 

My Dearest Father, 

I wrote to my mother from Castello 
Branco, as soon as my hand which I broke would 
permit me without inconvenience, which I hope 
you have received. My hand is now quite well. 
We left Castello Branco on the 30th. The 
greatest part of the army having marched, in 
different divisions, to occupy cantonments at 
Abrantes, Thomar, Vizeu, Coimbra, etc., in order 
to be able to feed them and clothe them, so as to 
be enabled to take the field again, with some 
chance of health, as soon as the enemy, who has 
also retired into cantonments, shall attempt any- 
thing. We know they want rest as much as we 
do, and have divided their corps, Soult at Coria, 
Placencia, Larza, etc., Marchand at Salamanca, 
etc., etc., Mortier at Zamora, Toro, etc. This is 
the army that was in our front. Of that of Victor 
I know nothing. Nor do I even know where Sir 
A. Wellesley is. 

We quitted Spain (Coria, Placencia, etc.), partly 
from orders from Sir A. W. partly because we 
were absolutely starved, and the cursed Spaniards 
would do nothing for us, concealed all means of 
subsistence, and fled as fast as approached. The 
French, who have not the same necessity of 
temporising as we have, will know how to extract 
what is left, though we know from deserters that 
they are very badly off. At Castello Branco also 
the army would not exist many days longer to- 
gether, and our Commissariat, and even distribu- 

78 LISBON [1809 

tion of what little we had was infamous. There was 
no remedy left but to divide the army into corps, 
station them where they may be assembled at 
the shortest notice, and at whatever point we may 
be attacked, and meantime employ ourselves in 
getting them clothed and disciplined, of which there 
is much want after all their exertions. The men, 
poor fellows, are well enough, very obedient, willing, 
and patient, but also naturally dirty and careless of 
their persons, dreadfully sickly, and they have a 
natural softness, or want of fortitude, which makes 
them yield immediately without exertion to sick- 
ness or fatigue. The Officers, for the most part, 
are detestable, mean, ignorant, and self-sufficient. 
It is incredible the little mean intrigues, the 
apathy, and want of military sentiment, Marshal 
Beresford has had to work against. Nothing but a 
very severe discipline can overcome these, and 
which I hope he will follow. 

Should however Austria fall, and France turn 
her whole force this way, I fear the ruin of these 
countries could but be for a short time delayed, and 
at the expense of many lives. The events in 
Germany, as I before wrote, should decide your 
conduct with regard to this. I merely venture an 
opinion in a military point of view. I confess in 
this last campaign I felt not the least wish to see 
the Portuguese troops engaged. If we had been 
beat, we were lost, and the state of our men from 
hunger, fatigue, want of proper clothing, made me 
feel but slender hopes of the contrary. We were, 
however, most anxious to afford every assistance in 
our power by a diversion in favour of our gallant 
noble countrymen with Sir A. W., and in such light 


would have regretted no loss, and certainly dared 
any danger. 

We came from Castello Branco to Abrantes in 
one day by Niza, in a day nearly 20 leagues, or 70 
odd English miles. It was dreadfully hot, and 
I think I never suffered more from fatigue and 
heat. We left Castello Branco at 12 at night, and 
I rode my own horse to Niza, where, however, I got 
a tired post mule, who could only get half way to 
Gaveon, and made me walk a great part of the way. 
In consequence it was near 7 p.m. before I got into 
Abrantes. The rest had arrived at two. We left 
that next day in a boat for Lisbon at 5 in the 
morning, and arrived about 6 next morning. It 
was rather a tiresome voyage, nor can I say much 
for the beauties of the banks of this famous River. 
It is also very shallow above Vallados, so that even 
in an English flat we were constantly on shore. 
Just about Abrantes, (which the Marshal has made 
very strong) and Santarem, it is pretty enough. 
Also near Barcinha and Tancos, where the banks 
are higher than they are generally. 

Rankin has turned out one of the greatest 
villains I ever met with. He had latterly behaved 
most infamously, and I had reason to suspect him 
of stealing, but could bring no absolute proof. I, 
however, had determined he should join his Regt. 
as soon as I should come near it. However at 
Castello Branco I detected him in falsifying a ration 
return from 2 to 12 rations of bread and wine, 
adding the 1, and turned him off at Niza to a party 
of the 23rd. On coming to Lisbon, however, I 
have discovered that he has robbed not only me of 
a great many articles of value, but in every place 

80 LISBON [1809 

we have been he must have done the same, as on 
examining his trunk, which, however, a friend of 
his had removed out of my room here, and opened, 
but had not had time to secrete, I discovered a 
large amount of Bank Notes and silver and gold, 
many stolen articles, among others a spoon belonging 
to this house, a very valuable gold and agate snuff- 
box ; and, though he made me buy him clothes just 
before we left Lisbon, saying he was quite naked, a 
large quantity of every kind. I have sent off to 
General Crawford who commands at Niza, to have 
him confined closely, and shall write to Sir A. 
Wellesley for a Court Martial on him. I do not so 
much mind what I have myself lost, however provok- 
ing, but am vexed beyond anything at his having 
plundered everybody wherever we went. Though 
I have sent up to General Crawford, I have no 
doubt he has deserted, as he asked me for money 
at Niza, stole one of my double barrelled Pistols 
and all my shaving things. As a great part of his 
money is in English Bank Notes, I should not at 
all wonder if he had robbed your house. You 
would be astonished at the rascality that has come 
out against him since he was detected, and that 
he should have so long deceived us. 

I got a letter from Clara the other day. She 
was quite well. Should things go worse, I will get 
an order for her to quit the convent, and act for 
the best, as circumstances may occur, and as I 
think you wish. 

Sept. 8th. — We are just returned from reviewing 
the Cavalry which has been for some time organis- 
ing here, that is reducing some Regiments to act 
as dismounted, and from them endeavouring to 


complete some squadrons of the others effective. 
They are tolerably equipped, but I think no great 
things, certainly the worst arm of its kind in 
Portugal. They will, however, soon be able to 
march. It has rained incessantly during the 5 
hours we have been out, and I suppose the 
Marshal staid in it to accustom them a nao ter medo 
a ckuva, 1 though I fear in consequence many will be 
troubled with dores de bariga?" a disorder we have 
found very prevalent among the officers going to 
Spain, and for which we had numberless petitions 
to go to Caldas, till it became proverbial for not 
wishing to serve. It is currently reported some 
of the wretched old crook-kneed horses we ran 
intend to petition for a like indulgence, fearing their 
strength will not be sufficient to carry them through 
the campaign. It should be granted. The 3 eldest 
cornets of one Regt. make up near 180 years age! 

Pray give my kindest love to my dear mother, 
etc., and believe me most truly, my dear Father, your 
very affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Hd. Qrs., Lisbon, Sept 11, 1809. 
My Dearest Father, 

I have been most truly vexed at not 
receiving your very affectionate letters of 5th July 
and 2nd August, annexed with my dear mother's 
of 10th July, till yesterday, late in the evening. 
The stupid clerks in the army post-office sent them 
up to Lord Wellington's army. I have for some 
time past been very fidgety at not hearing, and the 

1 Not to be afraid of the rain. 2 Stomach ache. 



three last packets do not bring me a line from 
anyone, or they also are gone to the English army 
while I am in Lisbon. 

I am sorry my letter was so expensive. It was 
Col. Brown's brother's fault, who told me it would 
go free. With regard to the affairs of this country 
I have nothing new to communicate, and observe 
from your letter we are perfectly agreed. Nor 
shall I say anything further to Pedro Alvez, as you 
have given him your orders. Just what I intended 
to have done, had not the French army retired into 
cantonments. Only I will apprise him with all 
possible speed, should any unexpected danger arise. 

Also about Clara, I had already determined to 
apply for a permission for her to quit the convent, 
which I will do, and act on it as circumstances 
may require. I think, however, she is better there 
as long as she can be so without risk. With 
regard to Madeira, I am unable on so short con- 
sideration to give any opinion. I am told there is 
a most respectable convent there, but the means of 
transport, admission, etc., etc., have of course some 
difficulty. I should also like to bring it about with 
her so that it should appear rather her own wish 
than ours, which may be done with a little manage- 
ment. On this subject, however, I will write further 
when better informed. 

You wish to know my situation in the country, 
etc., etc. It is simply this, I have the rank of 
Major, but neither pay, nor allowances, or fixed 
regiment. It was intended to have given those 
who chose it the Portuguese pay, that is those who 
got no rank, by entering it, in their own service. 
This I refused, and have already informed you of 


my reasons, which I hope you approve. However, 
since I find we are not to get it, as we receive 
English staff pay, and Batt and Forage, I received 
the other day, which, however, they threaten to 
make me refund, (150 f. for horses), and besides 
this I neither have nor do receive one farthing from 
their Government, or any besides my English pay. 

I could indeed make it out very well on my Staff 
pay, but for my losses in horses. Within this four 
months I have paid 80 guineas for one horse. He 
is completely lame and at Pinhel ; 50 do. for 
another, left at Lamego, water in his chest. I have 
been forced to ride a black horse, which the General 
lent me, the whole campaign, as to buying horses at 
any price is impossible, except at Lisbon. Here I 
yesterday bought a mare blind of an eye, though a 
very nice one, for 40 gns. In this case, as you will 
suppose, with very expensive dress, I cannot save 
much towards my majority. 

Since Rankin robbed me and was turned off, I 
have found it impossible to get a servant of any 
kind who would look after myself and horses, and 
am at last obliged to hire a Valet de Chambre (to 
avoid paying 800 Reis per diem to a Valet de place, 
who does nothing). He is highly recommended, 
has the care of everything, overlooks the stable, 
and finds himself in everything at 4 moidores a 
month. I shall not however keep him longer, when 
I can get an English groom. 

I will send you the statement of losses at 
Coruna as soon as I can get an opportunity, and a 
printed form. The conduct of our Government 
towards the young men who entered the Portuguese 
service, and have exerted themselves very much, all 

84 LISBON [1809 

meritorious young Officers, in not giving them the 
step of rank, in consequence of which most will quit 
it, at this most critical moment ; and their giving 
rank to men totally out of the army, as Brigadiers, 
to come and command English Lt.-Cols. and 
Majors, is most extraordinary and disgusting. 
Beresford's exertions have been constant and 
unremitting and their excellent effect daily visible, 
but the Government have behaved shamefully to 
him in many respects. 

As to myself, I perfectly agree with you, though 
I think not quite so desconfiado as you suspect. I 
am much obliged to you for sending the encommendas 
and will write to Porto about them. I will make 
the Fidalgos pay, or nada feito} 

I do not yet know when we quit Lisbon. It of 
course depends much on the movements of the enemy. 
You shall hear from me when we do. I believe our 
army is getting on very well, but, unless Govern- 
ment will make the Magistrates do their duty, and 
most severe examples of what deserters are caught, 
it (will be) impossible to keep them together, while 
they know that they can return home with impunity 
when they like. There is also a disgusting delay in 
getting anything done, when everything should be 
vigour and activity, and I really sometimes wonder 
at Beresford's perseverance and patience. A less 
firm man would have done nothing with them. 

We look to Germany with the greatest anxiety. 
The renewal of hostilities is something, but the 
consequences are not less a matter of anxiety and 
fear than their Armistice. God prosper them. 
Their cause is that of Europe. 

1 Nada feito - no transaction, nothing done. 


Adieu. Kindest love to all at home from, dearest 
friend, your ever affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Lisbon, 25/^ Sept. 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

I avail myself of my friend Bushes 
going to England to send you my claims for losses 
at Corunna, which I will be much obliged to you to 
endeavour to recover for me from the Board of 
Claims which I hear is sitting. Van Diest can put 
you in the way, as also to recover for my horse 
killed at the Vimiero, which I was informed I had 
been allowed, at Salamanca, where I gave in my 
claim, by order of Sir John Moore, and which 
having done precludes my including it in my losses 
now ; and being at a distance from Hd. Quarters 
I could never receive it. 

I intended to have written a long letter from this 
to my dear mother by this conveyance, but have so 
much to do to-day that it is impossible. We go to 
St Ubes, Palmela, etc., to-morrow to visit the posts 
in that country, and I fear before we return, in two 
or three days, the Packet will have sailed, but she 
shall hear from me the very first opportunity. We 
are getting the army clothed and disciplined with all 
diligence during this quiet interval. The French 
are, I suppose, doing the same, as all the armies 
have been for some time in statu quo. 

We long for a Packet. Never was a more 
anxious moment. I flatter myself with the idea 
that, if the affairs in Austria were favourable to 

86 LISBON [1809 

the French, we should have heard them. Both 
parties seem to await some decisive news from that 
quarter, and the Spaniards, I hear, promise fair. I 
don't believe a word they promise, unless I see more 
sincerity in them than hitherto. 

I have taken no steps as yet about dear Clara. 
It is needless to alarm her or her friends, till we 
have more certain intelligence and reason to act, 
for, whatever I say or do, people draw conclusions 
from, and judge of the situation of affairs — and 
above all things we must avoid appearing to despond, 
or give the thing up. I will, however, shortly inform 
you of my plans, which I hope you will approve. I 
am in perfect health and latterly as idle as any private 
gentleman need to be. I wish we had something 
active going on, and were in the field again. I 
always think I like Lisbon best when away, and 
vice versa. Such is human nature. 

Adieu, my dearest Father ; kindest love to a limy 
dear friends at Hendon and elsewhere, from yours 
ever most Affectionately and Dutifully, 

Wm. Warre. 

Lisbon, \oth October 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

I have to thank you for your very 
kind letter of 18th September, and will, you may 
depend upon it, do everything that my affection 
can dictate, or yours wish, respecting dear Clara. 
I am, however, sorry you have written to Pedro 
Alvez who has sent me your letter, as in these times 
we cannot be too cautious in giving the slightest 


reason of mistrust or despondency. I do not by 
any means consider the danger as so pressing or 
near as you do, and my dear Father will suppose, 
I am sure, that if I did I would not risk the safety 
of one so dear to me. At the same time I cannot 
see the use of alarming her unnecessarily, particu- 
larly as being my sister, take what precautions we 
may and desire what secrecy we will, it will spread 
in the country. They will fancy that I, and conse- 
quently the Marshal, think there is danger to be 
apprehended. You know the nature of the people, 
and their malicious propensities are not improved 
by the unsettled revolutionary state in which they 
have latterly been. It is almost impossible I 
should not have notice of the danger approaching 
in time to remove her to a place of safety, and 
subsequently, wherever you may think proper. In 
the meantime I have already drawn up a petition 
to the Regency, which I have no doubt they will 
grant, to remove her to a respectable house in 
Lisbon. And then if occasion press, I can be 
at hand to assist her, and we need not at once 
send her to England with strangers, contrary to 
what I know also is her wish, unless there was 
absolute danger. I will write to Pedro Alvez, and 
wait your further orders. To her I will say nothing 
till it is time to act, and you may be quite at rest 
that I will not risk anything, and I think I can 
depend on the Marshal's friendly assistance. 

I am much vexed at . . . bill being protested. 
He is a very brave gallant officer, was much dis- 
tressed, and I felt happy in relieving him. I would 
have given him the money, raising it as I could, if 
that was all, for I admire his conduct as a soldier, 

88 LISBON [1809 

but feel much hurt that he should have deceived 
me, and have written to him as much, and he will 
pay the money, I have no doubt. Genl. . . . also 
had 41 fl. which he has not paid, and I have written 
to him, and sent him the account. 

I am I confess much surprised at the manner of 
your letter with regard to my taking up money at 
Porto. I went there ill, and had no means of 
getting a farthing any other way. Expence with 
servants was inevitable, and when I was forced to 
pay 40 guineas for a horse unexpectedly, I was 
unable to remit to Porto, as I told Pedro I 
should, and desired him not to send the account 
home till he heard from me. I do not at the same 
time deny that I spent more than I absolutely 
need, but it was under particular circumstances, 
and intended to have been paid by my Bat. and 
Forage money, ^42 odd I had to receive, which 
the loss of my horses prevented. Nor did I 
imagine at all events even with that expence, I 
exceeded my pay, which I hope you constantly 
receive in England, as I never receive any here but 
my Staff pay as A.D.C. 

With regard to my Portuguese Commission, I 
refused the pay of it for reasons I already stated. 
From the tenour of your former letters, I was in 
hopes you would have approved, and most sincerely 
regret you do not. I have a feeling of dislike to 
taking the pay of any Sovereign but my own, and, 
as I am now circumstanced, I merely consider myself 
as indirectly serving my own King and country, and 
they have a right to my services, however insig- 
nificant, without any further pay or emolument, and 
shall think myself fully rewarded if Marshal 


Beresford's exertions are successful, and that we 
can give the cursed oppressors of Europe a good 
beating with Portuguese troops. Under certain 
circumstances I have not a doubt we should. They 
are perfectly subordinate and their discipline 
progressively getting into a very good state. I 
hope they will soon be completely clothed and 
equipped and as respectable an army under British 
Officers as any. 

From Spain we have no news. The French 
appear to wait accounts from Germany previous to 
any operation of consequence. The English army 
is getting healthy and is in good spirits. I see 
little of absolute despondency except in some 
English newspapers, or discontented Officers, and 
most sincerely hope the new Ministry will not 
discontinue their exertions for the defence of this 
country, if affairs go well in Germany. 

The approaching rainy season renders the 
advance of an enemy into Portugal very difficult, 
and confines our defence to particular posts. The 
British army is, I believe, going into cantonments 
about Elvas, Badajos, etc., etc. Ours between 
Abrantes and Coimbra. The former in a very good 
state of defence commands the Tagus and secures 
our right, while we are in reach of all the passes of 
Muradal, etc., and within reach of the Douro if 

The money for the encommendas I will remit,, as 
also Drafts for two pipes of wine, sent by your 
house to Sir David Dundas and Capt. Otter by 
desire of Col. Delaney and Major Brown, who will 
forward the bills of loading. I am very much 
obliged by your kind attention about the encom- 

90 LISBON [1809 

mendas ; which are much approved, though I 
think particularly the hat ornaments tawdry, and 
such as I would not wear, and Souza's sabre of 
wretched quality and badly finished, which it will 
be right to tell Hawkes. I am vexed at it, for the 
prices are for the best. Rankin I have had tried by 
a General Court Martial for robbery. Never was 
such a scene of iniquity as I discovered. I fear it 
will go very hard with him, and am therefore glad 
that I only prosecuted for what he stole from other 
people, passing over my own losses. 

Pray give my kindest love to all at home, and 
believe me ever, my dear kind friend and affectionate 
Father, your most sincerely and affectionately, 

Wm. Warre. 

Pray tell my uncle Wm. with my love that I 
have received his empenho l for Corporal of the 6th, 
and will do what I can for him. 

Lisbon, Oct. 26M, 1809. 

Many thanks, my dearest Mother, for your very 
affectionate letter. 

It is still uncertain when we leave Lisbon and 
must depend on circumstances. I long for a more 
active life than this, though far from an unpleasant 
one. We yesterday received a pleasing account of 
the defeat of a French Division of 12,000 men 
commanded by Genl. Marchand, Ney having, it is 
said, returned to France. They attacked the Duque 
del Parque, who was in his position near Tamames, 

1 Recommendation. 


but he completely defeated them after a very sharp 
action, and took 300 arms, 1 12-pounder, 1 colour. 
They left 1200 men dead on the field, and were 
pursued 4 leagues by the Spanish Cavalry and 
Light Troops, who killed a great many more. 
Their loss is therefore estimated at 2000 or more, 
as they retired in great confusion to Salamanca, 
near 8 leagues. I most sincerely rejoice the 
Spaniards should have done this by themselves. 
It will give them confidence, and persuade them 
that with a little perseverance the invaders can be 

The Spanish cavalry at first ran away, but 
falling back on their Infantry Regts. they fired on 
them and forced them to attack the enemy, when 
they regained what they had lost in so infamous a 
manner. The Spanish Horse Artillery, which is 
anything but light artillery, was taken in the 
beginning of the action, but most gallantly retaken 
by their Infantry with the bayonet, and they 
throughout appear to have behaved with great 
courage. I am ignorant of their force, but know 
that they had not been joined by Ballasteros' 
Division, which they expect, and will, I hope, make 
some use of this victory. It augurs well in young 
troops, and I approve greatly of the system of 
firing on those that misbehave. It is thus the 
French Revolutionary Army gained such victories 
at the commencement, when indisciplined and 
badly officered. The Duque himself appears to have 
behaved with great valour and conduct, and to 
have exposed himself everywhere he thought that 
his presence might avail. I know him, and I 
confess am agreeably surprised, for, though very 


gentlemanly, I had little idea of him as a soldier on 
a great occasion. 

Last night about 10 o'clock, just after I had 
gone to bed, I was alarmed by a very sharp shock 
of an earthquake. It lasted several seconds and 
was generally felt, even in the playhouse, and 
occasioned some alarm. From the long continued 
heat and dry weather it has been expected. But 
the rain seems now to set in. I hope we shall have 
no more. My curiosity is completely gratified. It 
was strong enough to wake me, and lasted some 
time after I sat up in my bed, not quite determined 
what to do. To-night we are all going to a very 
grand ball at Mr Villiers' the envoy, on his going 
away, universally respected and regretted. I have 
the highest esteem for him and owe him some 
gratitude for his kindness to me. A better or 
kinder man could not be, and he was much esteemed 
by the natives. Lord Wellesley is expected here, 
though this is only what I hear as a report. Lord 
Wellington leaves this to-morrow for the army. 

I wrote to dear Emily by the last packet about 
some friends of mine, most amiable good people, to 
whom I, as well as every English Officer, owe a great 
deal. I am sure you would like them, and I there- 
fore beg you to second my petition for them to stay 
with you some time, should they be forced to quit 
the country, till they can get settled in some degree 
in England previous to going to Brazil. 

With kindest love to all, believe me, My dear 
Mother, Yours affectionately, 

Wm. Warre. 

The Ball was very handsome, and also the 


supper in grand style, which table many of my Portu- 
guese friends, who dined at No. 3, did not seem 
to disapprove. 

Lisbon, October 2^ 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

As I write to my mother by this 
conveyance, and tell her all the news, this merely 
serves to enclose 1st and 2nd of exchange, for some 
wine shipped by your house at Porto for Capt. 
Otter by the direction of Major Brown. I have 
not yet received that from Lt.-Col. Delaney, for 
a pipe shipped by his order to Sir D. Dundas, but 
will remit it as soon as I do. I also enclose my 
final account current with Messrs Armit & 
Borough, Dublin, and their bill on Hammersley's 
for the balance, ^53, 18s. 8d. Greenwood & Cox 
must therefore have 5 months' pay of mine in their 
hands, and I enclose accordingly a bill for ^90, 
which I will thank you to place to my credit. 

I observe with the greatest surprise, in a letter 
from my Dear Mother, that my expences at Porto 
amounted to ^500, nor can I imagine it possible, 
and accordingly write to Pedro Alvez for a state- 
ment. I should have thought £100 far beyond the 
mark exclusive of Genl. . . . account, and . . . 
bill for 133 dollars, and I really am completely at 
a loss to account for it. It is true I was in one 
respect at an unnecessary expence, and gave the 
servants a present each. Poor devils, they had 
lost all they had, and told me, except old Domingos, 
my uncle's allowance to them had ceased, and 

94 LISBON [1809 

compassion for their sufferings made me give more 
than at the time I thought I could afford. 

Rankin previous to his execution confessed 
having robbed me at different times to the amount 
of $o£ or more. Others were perhaps more 
immediately guilty than this unfortunate fellow 
[but] I fear having no other proof than the confes- 
sions of a condemned man, it will be impossible to 
bring them to justice. I have fortunately dis- 
covered the most valuable part of the property, 
and am happy in being able to restore it to its 
owners. The sum of money found, and which he 
confessed to have been in great measure mine, 
the Court martial ordered to be given to the fund 
at Lloyds, as they were ignorant of the right 
owners. I have no objection to that, as I could not 
wish to possess this money after prosecuting him, 
but should have felt as well pleased to have given 
it myself. The money for the encommendas I will 
remit as soon as I can collect the whole. ... I 
have written to about the protested bill and have 
no doubt he will pay, though I fear he is still much 
distressed. Public news of any consequence we have 
none. Lord Wellington leaves to-morrow for the 
army; when we go is uncertain. We most anxiously 
look for news from Austria. It must decide almost 

Adieu, my dearest Father ; believe me ever yr. 
affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 


Lisbon, Dec. \st y 1809. 

My Dearest Mother, 

Your affectionate son does allow that 
you never miss an opportunity of doing or saying 
everything that can contribute to his happiness, 
and that it is indeed a very agreeable way you 
have chosen of making up to him for his anxiety 
at not hearing from home. . . . 

Poor Rankin died very penitent. It was the 
most afflicting scene I ever witnessed. Could my 
exertions have saved him, though duty forced me 
to prosecute him, I would have been happy indeed. 
I am sorry to tell you his accomplice, and I think 
instigator to wickedness, has been detected and 
tried, and will I fear share the same fate. He is a 
private servant of the General's. I hope Ld. Welling- 
ton will think one example sufficient, and mitigate 
his punishment. However convinced I am that 
it was an imperious duty to society, who can help 
feeling much annoyed at the idea of being so instru- 
mental in bringing these poor wretches to justice ? 
Nature pleads sometimes louder than policy and right, 
and I regret I e/er knew anything of the matter. 

Our departure from Lisbon has been repeatedly 
postponed for some reason or other. It was fixed 
for next Monday, but I believe will not then take 
place. A tour round the provinces at this wet 
season will not be a journey of pleasure. But it 
is absolutely necessary we should know the board 
on which we are to play our game. We must do 
our best. The country possesses many great 
advantages for a defending army and the business 
may be prolonged. Providence, however, must 

96 LISBON [1809 

decide the issue as it pleases, though I certainly 
think the Peace with Austria, and the late total rout ! 
of the Spaniards, augur ill. No considerable rein- 
forcements have yet arrived from France. A very 
large army must be left in Germany. The season 
is greatly unfavourable to attack, particularly in 
this country, which abounds in Rivers, in winter 
impassable, and in difficult passes. All these 
thoughts leave room for conjecture how long we 
may remain quiet. The Spanish army was com- 
pletely destroyed and by their own ignorant 
dispositions, and their obstinacy in persisting in 
their old system, and if they continue, it will be so, 
every time they meet the French. Never was 
there a stronger proof of how unavailing courage 
and enthusiam are against discipline and order. 
Their men are led, and go to the very mouth of 
certain destruction, by the ignorance of their 
generals and officers, and these are so bigoted to 
the system they fancy they know, that nothing but 
such woeful experience can cure them. I do not 
wonder the men run away. I wonder much more 
they ever go so far, knowing as they do the 
ignorance and often treason of their leaders. I 
send all the letters open enclosed to you, and beg 
you will seal and send them. 

Dec. 2nd, Monday. — We certainly leave this 
on Wednesday next for our tour to the Northern 
frontiers and provinces. 

I have nothing further to add but my kindest 
love to my dear Father. I am, etc., etc., from your 
ever affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

1 Ocafia. 


P.S. — Prior is going on very well, and desires to 
be remembered. He is a very good Officer and has 
a good heart, though very weak in some things. I 
have no doubt he will yet make an excellent 
member of society. 

Thomar, Dec. 31, 1809. 

My Dear Father, 

I have to thank you for your very 
kind letters of the 15th Novr. and 20th Deer., the 
latter this moment received, and, as I have a short 
leisure I answer it immediately. Marshal Beresford 
is gone with Lord Wellington to Torres Novas to 
see the Algarve Brigade men, and left me to 
continue my translation of Instructions for Light 
Infantry, a tiresome undertaking, but most neces- 
sary, and for the appearance of which I am much 
hurried. While in Lisbon Dundas' Book was 
translated under my direction, and has, I am happy 
to say, already been of essential use, and gained me 
some credit. 

I have considered my account very carefully and 
am a good deal surprized at the amount. Some 
expences were unavoidable from circumstances such 
as horses and mules. My expences at Oporto 
in 1808 [were heavy], as, though Genl. Beresford 
insisted on paying many things, it was impossible 
for him to be there in my own house without great 
expence, particularly as I was then living as a 
guest in his family. The expences with Hams 
and Plumbs were most thoughtless. Indeed I 
never dreamt of the expence and thought they were 


98 THOMAR [1809 

to be paid for by those who ordered them. Genl. 
Payne has repaid me the 41 $510 advanced for him 
at Porto. Genl. Beres ford's 461085 in 1808 I will 
enquire about. In short, my dear Father, the 
expences for the last few years I feel are very great, 
and from the unfortunate turn of business I most 
sincerely regret it. I am most sensible and feel 
how happy you would be and always have been 
when in your power to make me the most liberal 
allowance, and hope for the future this conviction 
of your kindness will make me square my expences 
to my means. Hitherto, my greatest expences, 
horses, I have been most unfortunate in. I must 
be well mounted to be able to do the duty with 
Marshal B. Unfortunately though I have paid 
very high prices, all my horses and mules have 
turned out ill, and even both my last purchases 
have been unlucky. I bought a mare strongly 
recommended with the whole of my last Batt. and 
Forage money, but the day we left Lisbon she very 
near broke my neck, and falling upon me lamed me 
for a fortnight, but I am quite well again. The 
mule also I bought, when leaving Lisbon, for 100 
dollars, and appeared so fine a one, has swelled in 
the legs and I scarce know what I shall do to get 
my servant on. I hate being obliged instantly to 
make excuses, but feel that you have an undoubted 
right to know why I do not make it out on my 
Staff pay. My Regimental pay I intend while I 
remain in Portugal shall go towards the bills you 
pay for me, and unless unforeseen accident occurs, 
hope to make it out on my Staff pay, though it will, 
I know, be with very considerable difficulty, for our 
expences are unavoidably not inconsiderable. With 


regard to the Macarellos, I have written to my 
Uncle as you wish, and very strongly, and hope you 
are convinced that I cannot have greater pleasure 
than meeting them on every occasion. 

With regard to dear Clara I intend asking 
leave in a few days at Coimbra to go to see her, and 
will write to you from Porto, what arrangements I 
have made. The Patriarch has promised to obtain 
the leave for her to quit the Convent, from the 
Nuncio, and, you may depend upon it, I will run no 
risk as to her safety. My friends, the Marquis and 
Marchioness of Lourigal, have offered to give her 
an asylum should it be necessary, and I should not 
wish to have her in a more amiable family, but this 
is really a very delicate step to take both in regard 
to her, who has many prejudices to overcome, 
besides her own, not small ones, as to quitting the 
Convent, and my official situation in this country. 
I will, however, see how the ground lies, and inform 
you further from Oporto. 

I do not with you consider danger so near or 
that the French will attack .us till the spring. The 
loss of the battle of Ocana, though highly disastrous, 
and, moreover, the loss of the Duque del Parque's 
army, might have decided much, if the French had 
forces to follow up their success, but as it is I think 
the Dons will have time to recover themselves, and 
have (at least we hope so) gained in experience. 
The causes of their defeats are very apparent. 
Their Cavalry are always placed in a situation where, 
even if they were brave, which we have no reason 
to suppose, they are exposed to certain destruction. 
Their Officers are even worse than those of the 
Infantry, which is decidedly brave and deserves 

100 THOMAR [1809 

much more our pity than contempt for their mis- 

In the battle at Ocafia, the Genl. in Chief left 
the field before his army, and left them to fight it 
out in their own way, and set off in a different 
direction, to avoid even the confusion of his own 
routed Army. All the fine squibs in the papers 
about him are not true. The Duque del Parque's 
army, after having fought most gallantly and effected 
its retreat, dispersed in a panic occasioned by some 
Dragoons galloping in, and calling out vienen, 
vienen, when there was not an enemy within 
several leagues. So much for their disposition 
and Officers, who could never rally them at all. 
The loss I most regret on these occasions are the 
arms, which the fools throw away in their flight, 
and more irreparable than men of which they 
ought to have no want. 

The French will have a difficult job to drive us 
out, both from the nature of the country, want of 
provisions and means of transport, and the very 
improved state of the Portuguese army, which in 
itself speaks sufficiently for Beresford's exertions, 
and the propriety of the severe, or rather firm, 
conduct he went upon from the first. In many 
respects he has been infamously used by both 
Governments, but I suppose he has the good of his 
country and common sense too much at heart to 
complain or remonstrate. I think he could not feel 
annoyed at the appointment of Ld. Wellington to 
be Marshal-General and Comr.-in-Chief of the 
troops while in the field only, which he is, but the 
manner in which it was done has much disgusted 
us all. His own feelings I know not, and indeed 


I am not fond of writing or speaking on these 
subjects, and merely mention it to you as my own 

The Portuguese army, notwithstanding the 
numberless difficulties to which he is constantly 
exposed, from imbecility and mean contemptible 
jealousy and intrigue, will be a sufficient testimony, 
I have no doubt, both in its apparent discipline and 
conduct before the enemy, whenever it shall be our 
fortune to meet him. I confess myself rather 
anxious for the trial. It will shew us what Officers 
are subject to dores de bariga and enable us to get 
rid of them, and make examples of this worst part 
of their army, though now there are really many 
very promising young Officers, and the old ones 
have in great measure been got rid of. Lord W. 
as well as every British Officer have been very 
much, though agreeably, surprised at the state of 
our troops. I am inclined to think that had they 
justice done unto them in the common comforts, 
I may say necessaries of life, clothing and food, 
they would make as good soldiers as any in the 
world. None are certainly more intelligent or 
willing, or bear hardships and privation more 

As to Custine, 1 I see not the least occasion for 
your advancing him a farthing more. My obliga- 
tions to him I think quite sufficiently repaid, .and 
has behaved dishonorably about the bill. There- 
fore in future I cannot think you have any occasion 
to answer his letters. 

I am much obliged to you for your kindness to 
young Lacerda, but I certainly had no idea of your 

1 See Memoir. 

102 THOMAR [1809 

asking his family to stay in the house. The 
Louricals are the only people I would think of 
asking so great an inconvenience for, and for them 
only for the great friendship they have shown me, 
and the very bad health of the Marchioness, and 
this only had you been at Hendon. In town I 
know it is quite out of the question, and even at 
Hendon it would not much signify, as we could 
assist them in getting a lodging or house. But at 
all events I hope, whether I am in -England or not, 
should they be forced out of the country, you will 
be very civil to them. 

Pray give my kindest love to them and to all, 
the dear uncle of Hendon Place, when you meet 
again, and believe me ever, my dear Father, your 
very affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I shall join Marshal B. at Oporto from Arouca, 
and when they make the tour of the Northern 
Province, which would have been very pleasant in 
summer. The Marshal desired me to remember 
him most kindly to you and my mother, whom pray 
thank for her kind letter to me, which I will answer 
very soon. 

Note on Back. 
20,000 gr. coats 10,000 caps 

20,000 blankets 40,000 half-stockings will be sent 

10,000 jackets 40,000 shirts 

10,000 pantaloons 40,000 knapsacks 

4500 saddles 20,000 jackets 

4500 bridles 20,000 pantaloons 

4500 saddle bags 



The beginning of the year 1810 saw the army 
of Lord Wellington withdrawn from Spain, and 
awaiting in Portugal the attack of the French, 
which seemed the inevitable. It was destined to 
wait many months before the blow fell. King 
Joseph and his advisers committed the error of 
invading Andalusia, the subjugation of which, 
and the siege of Cadiz, involved the employment 
of the larger portion of the forces at their disposal. 
Before they could invade Portugal, it was necessary 
for them to give time for reinforcements to arrive 
from France. The Emperor, having concluded 
peace with Austria, was now able to spare some 
of his legions for the complete conquest of the 
Peninsula. But the time of waiting was long. 
Astorga in the north did not fall till 22nd April ; 
Ciudad Rodrigo was not taken till 9th July. 

In July the opposing forces were brought -into 
contact on the 24th in the Combat of the Coa, in 
which, owing to the obstinacy of General Crawfurd, 
the Light Division was severely handled by very 
superior numbers and nearly cut off. Followed 
the advance of the French army and the siege of 
Almeida, which was taken on 27th August. 


104 LISBON [1810 

Meanwhile, during these weary months of wait- 
ing, the Portuguese army was growing in numbers 
and steadily improving in efficiency and discipline. 
The language used concerning it in the letters is 
full of confidence, and offers a contrast to the 
rather despondent tone of the references to it 
at the beginning of the previous year. 

Major Warre, after a very busy time in August, 
seems to have been attacked by his old malady 
and to have been sent to Lisbon. He thus, much 
to his chagrin, missed Bussaco and the retreat to 
the lines of Torres Vedras. Early in October he 
had recovered sufficiently to rejoin the Marshal at 
his Headquarters within the lines. But the hard 
life and exposure resulted in a very serious relapse, 
which brought him to death's door, and the Medical 
Board determined that he must be sent home. He 
arrived at Falmouth, after a bad voyage of ten days, 
early in November, and the last two letters of this 
year's series, from Falmouth and Honiton respec- 
tively, indicate a very tedious journey and a pre- 
carious state of health. 

Lisbon, Feb. 6, 1810. 

My Dear Kind Mother, 

I was made quite happy, on my 
arrival three days since at this place, by receiving 
your affectionate letter of 29th Deer, and 1st Jany. 
(I have also received yours of Dec. 12th). . . . 

I own I think you very much more gloomy than 
necessary as to public affairs, and do not agree with 
you as to Ministers, as I approve much of many of 
their measures. Our misfortunes in Spain they 
neither could foresee or prevent. Who could 
imagine the Spaniards would betray those who went 


to their assistance ? Cowards they are not — that is 
the soldier. He is capable of being equal to any in 
the world. But without Officers, or of course 
confidence, without discipline and betrayed by their 
Government, what could they do ? 

Our last accounts, and their enemy being before 
Cadiz, was as unexpected as an earthquake, and quite 
as unaccountable, as that Spain has no army. They 
[the French] will find it very difficult to conquer this 
country, and though things in Spain are certainly 
very dispiriting, the game is not lost. Nothing, 
however, but a revolution (horrid as the idea is to 
humanity) can save it, and that is already begun, I 
suspect, and I hope the traitors will fall. I am 
quite of the opinion that Public safety is the Supreme 
Law, and the cant of humanity, when the country 
is to be saved, I consider as weak and unmanly. 
They have paid dearly for a bigoted adherence to 
old absurd forms and prejudices. I do not mean 
that a revolution and popular Government will now 
save them. But I am sure that it is the only thing 
that can. They are very enthusiastical and violent, 
and they abhor the French, against whom their fury 
will be directed as well as against their Government 
and traitors ; and in this tumult some great 
characters may start up. 

As to Flushing, our expedition there was 
disastrous, but well meant. Who could foresee 
that Austria would so soon make peace? And -the 
diversion, had it continued the war, would have been 
of great consequence. Besides, as a soldier, I think 
we make too much fuss about the loss of men 
where a great object is to be obtained. Victorious 
or beaten we must lose men, but while we regret 

106 LISBON [1810 

their loss individually, we should not as a public one, 
in so glorious and just a cause, that of our political 
existence as a nation. 

I write to Tom some account of our tour, which 
was very pleasant, though rapid. We travelled 
near 200 leagues in less than two months. Nothing 
can exceed the beauty of part of the country we 
went through, and we had only one day rain, and 
our inspection of the progress of the discipline of 
the Portuguese troops was as pleasant as our most 
sanguine wishes could expect. 

I am very sorry you had not received the letters 
I wrote from this in answer to that you wrote in 
company from Hendon, which I answered, each 
individually. I wrote also to my father and Emily 
in December, which letters I hope you have since 
received, and I only did not write from Porto, as I 
intended, from really not having time hardly to 
sleep or eat, what between duty and grand cere- 
monies and rejoicings. Nothing can have been 
more honourable or flattering to the Marshal than 
his reception in that City, and indeed in every 
place we have been in throughout the country, and 
he deserves it for his unremitted exertions, and 
Herculean labour. There exists not a more 
honourable firm man or a more zealous Patriot. 
His failings are mere foibles of a temper naturally 
warm and hasty, and great zeal to have everything 
right, without much patience. Those who accuse 
him of severity are either those who have felt it 
because they deserved it, their friends, or people 
wilfully ignorant of the state in which he found the 
army. And of how much he has foreborne, as to 
myself, I declare I do not know one instance of 

CLARA 107 

severity, and [do know] numberless ones of his 
mercy, and goodness of heart, where others would 
have been less lenient. You see I insensibly fall 
into politics, or the shop, so called, but one natur- 
ally writes about what one's mind is constantly 
occupied with, and as the subject is not uninterest- 
ing I hope you will not be angry at my writing to a 
lady on such grave matters as Politics and 
Tactics, or rather more properly speaking, on 
public concerns. 

I was three days at Arouca with dear Clara, 
who is a most amiable sensible woman. Her 
manners and sense are really quite astonishing for 
one so constantly secluded from the world. She 
was quite well. We put the convent in a terrible 
fuss by the Marshal's arrival to breakfast there, on 
his way to Vizeu. It was very kind of him to go to 
pay her a visit, and he was very much pleased with 

I have got an order from the Nuncio to remove 
her where I please, in case of danger, but it is not 
quite what I wanted, and I shall try to get a more 
general one, and bring her to Lisbon, when 
necessary, where my friends the Louricals will be 
glad to receive her. The Marchioness has just lost 
her sister the Duchess of Laffoes, and has the care 
and guardianship of the young Duchess and her 
sister, nieces to the Prince, a dismal prospect for 
her, poor thing, in the present state of public 
affairs, but notwithstanding she will not allow me to 
place Clara anywhere else, and she cannot be with 
more amiable charming people. Adieu, as I write 
to Tom and know that he will see this letter, and 
you his, shall say no more, but beg you will give 

108 LISBON [1810 

kindest love to my dear father, with thanks for his 
letter, from your sincerely affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Lisbon, Feb. 17, 18 10. 

My Dear Father, 

I avail myself of Frank Van Zeller's 
going to England to thank you for your very kind 
attention in sending me the books by John Croft, 
and it was odd that I had, not half an hour before, 
finished the translation into Portuguese of that on 
Light Infantry, when yours arrived. It is, however, 
not less welcome, as coming from you, and shall 
supply the place of the old one in our marches. 

The great coat having brought a letter enclosed 
in it addressed to the Marshal, it is a doubt whether 
it is for him or for me. It came directed to me, and 
the letter enclosed is very equivocal. At all events 
it does not fit me and does him, and therefore he 
shall keep it, and if it is intended for me, he can 
send for one in its place that will fit me. This sort 
of great coat, however, is of little use on horseback, 
as it does not cover the knees. And as we can 
carry but little weight on our horses and but very 
little baggage, a cloak lined with any warm but 
light stuff is much better, as we oftener want a 
cloak to sleep in than to keep out the rain, and I 
have latterly practised riding with an oil skin cape 
over my great coat, and not minding the rain, so 
long as I have anything dry to wrap myself up in, 
or sleep in, when we arrive. Indeed my cloth coat 
gets so soon wet, is so heavy when filled with 


water, and takes so many days drying, that I 
never carry it with me, in order to save both 
myself and horse, and I find that we get as used to 
being wet, and mind it as little, as we do many 
other very disagreeable things. 

Croft tells me you said something to him about 
a bear skin, which you would send me, but I feel 
equally obliged by your affectionate intention, and 
do not wish you to put yourself to the unnecessary 
expense, as I have already a very good one, a 
former present from Tom, and which I recovered 
after poor King's death at Talavera. 

I wrote so lately to Tom that I have very little 
more news to communicate. Cadiz since the 
Duque d'Albuquerque got in with 6000 men, and 
the sailing of English and Portuguese Succours is, 
I think, out of immediate danger, and indeed if the 
accounts we have from Spain, and the non-arrival 
of reinforcements is true, as we suppose, I cannot 
imagine that the French army can maintain itself 
in Andalusia, and the movement appears to have 
been a very rash one (though they succeeded in 
preventing the Cortes, a great object) and one 
which they may bitterly repent. It is, however, 
impossible to say. They are very clever fellows, 
and have too much experience to make any very 
great faults, and it is impossible for us to know the 
secret causes or encouragement which induced 
them to take such a step. Even the people wlio 
are about a General Officer Commanding know 
very little of the motives which weigh in his mind 
and make him act, and but very few indeed are 
capable, at the moment, of judging of its 
expediency or propriety, even long after, when 

110 LISBON [1810 

results are known, and time has developed many of 
the circumstances, and the real situation in which 
they were placed. We cannot be too cautious in 
blaming or approving the conduct of one entrusted 
with such a command. For we can never fully 
know what passes in his mind (unless greatly in 
his confidence), or the numberless combinations he 
must regard. We can only form to ourselves an 
opinion of how far, and with what propriety 
apparent, he has deviated from, or adhered to, the 
certain fixed principles of war, which are subject to 
as much modification as the variety of the ground 
to which they must be adapted. 

They have also advanced a Corps of 6 to 8ooo 
men upon Badajos, in which Romana is with 6ooo 
men, and a lesser towards, Olivenca, another upon 
Ciudad Rodrigo, which, I hear, is not strong, but 
am ignorant of their numbers, or of what garrison 
is in the place. 

These Corps threaten us direct, but I am of 
the opinion that it is merely a demonstration in 
order to deceive and restrain the British and Portu- 
guese army, by making them jealous of their approach, 
and collecting the forces for fear of an immediate 
attack, as I have a letter from a friend of mine 
in Spain who denies that any reinforcements have 
arrived, and says he had just spoken with a Spanish 
Courier, who passed Bayonne on the 19th ulmo., 
and reports that no reinforcements had arrived 
there at that period, or were any immediately 
expected, and that the state of the Public mind in 
France was far from favourable to Buonaparte. 
Of this you may believe as much as you please, 
combining it with what reports you have in 


England. Spaniards more frequently report what 
they wish than what is true, as we all well know to 
our cost. 

General Hill's Corps, British and Portuguese, 
have been marched towards Elvas to cover our 
sick and wounded at that place. The Portuguese 
troops are in very high spirits and seem anxious to 
meet the enemy. They are in a very improved 
state of discipline, and promise well. It would be 
unfair to doubt them with these qualities. Poor 
fellows, they fight for everything that is dear to 
them. I never saw a Regt. embark in better style 
or higher spirits than 20th Portuguese Regt. did 
for Cadiz a few days ago. They embarked 1400 
strong, and lost only 6 deserted, which does them 
and their country great honour. Several men 
came and enlisted at the moment the Regt. was 
embarking, and one fine fellow I enlisted myself as 
the Regt. marched off. The son of the Viscondessa 
de Misquetella also enlisted at that moment. 
Everything proclaims an active spring, and I am 
very glad of it. The French will, I dare hope, find 
themselves mistaken in the Portuguese troops, and 
though I am not sanguine as to the final result, 
unless Spain does more than she has done yet, I 
am sure the Conquest will cost them very dear. 

Pray thank ... for their affecte. letters by 
John Croft, whom I was much astonished to see 
in Lisbon, and also for the bonnets for Lumiaces 
which are much approved. I have also received 
your letters by Mr Knox and Stanhope and that 
from my Uncle Wm., and will, of course, shew them 
every kindness in my power, though I regret the 
state of the Public mind, which is a bar to much 

112 LISBON [1810 

society, and my mixing very little in any society 
whatever, will prevent my shewing them as much of 
it as I could wish. I have offered them my horses, 
and will endeavour to ask them here as often as I 

Our stay is very doubtful, and of course very 
much depends upon the movements of the enemy, 
nor have I yet an idea as to where our Hd. Qrs. are 
to be. Your most truly affectionate, 

Wm. Warre. 

Lisbon, March 10, 1810. 
My Dearest Mother, 

We have been unexpectedly delayed 
in Lisbon some days owing to the dreadful storms 
we have experienced for the last 8 days, during 
which it has rained in torrents, and blown almost a 
hurricane. Great damage has been done in the 
River, and for several days and nights we have 
heard nothing but signals and guns of distress in 
the River even above Lisbon, though I have not 
yet heard of many lives being lost. I comforted 
myself with the idea that it will fill our Rivers for 
us, and render all the fords impassable. We are 
likely to remain a day or two longer in Lisbon and 
then go to Coimbra, which for the present will be the 
Marshal's Hd. Qrs. The enemy has latterly been 
very quiet, and w T e have had very quiet winter 
quarters, a luxury very rare in the present system 
of warfare. This, however, cannot now last long, 
and I hope ere long some movement will be made 
on one side or the other. 


The supineness of the Spaniards is truly dis- 
tressing. Poor devils, they have been most 
shamefully betrayed by their Government, and 
public confidence appears in that country quite lost. 
It is really mortifying, for they are an enthusiastic 
and spirited people, and have shown on some 
occasions that they are not deficient in individual 
courage. I wish they were in half the state of 
discipline and organisation of the Portuguese, and 
the French would not then find it an easy task to 
maintain themselves in that country with their 
present force ; and nothing but the French being 
perfectly well informed of the real state of that 
unfortunate nation could have induced them to 
make the rash movements which they have, for, 
in any other point of view, they appear much 
allied to absolute folly. 

With regard to this country much is to be said, 
but my motto is " Nil Desperandum." Our Com- 
manders are very clever, and of course know better 
than anybody how they can defend the country, 
and every Officer who feels like a soldier should not 
form, or at least communicate, theories of his own, 
but make up his mind to share their fate, be it 
what it may. 

To put my mind at rest I have obtained an 
order to remove dear Clara to the Convent of the 
Esperanca at this place. This from the Nuncio 
who has also written a very kind letter to the 
Bishop of Lamego to facilitate the business. 
These I gave to the Patriarch a fortnight ago, 
and he told me to set my mind at rest, and that he 
would arrange the whole business for me in the best 
manner. She will be within reach of the Marshal's 


114 LISBON [1810 

protection in case I should be at a distance in time 
of need, should it come to that extremity, and my 
friend the Marchioness of Louri^al has promised 
to treat her as if she belonged to her family, and it 
is to her exertions and friendly interference that I 
am indebted for having her admitted into this con- 
vent, which is the best, and the Lady Abbess a 
friend of hers. Should they be forced to embark, 
of which I see however no present probability, 
she will take her with her, and even should that 
not be easy, I feel confident I can depend upon the 
Marshal's friendship and protection, therefore pray 
tell my dear Father, that he may set his mind quite 
at rest, and she is truly deserving of all our love 
and affection. 

My stay in Lisbon this time has been anything 
but amusing. There has been very little gaiety, and 
my time fully employed with my friend John Camp- 
bell in compiling a set of regulations for the Cavalry, 
the last I hope I shall be bothered with, for I know 
from experience that we may write out our finger 
ends, and nobody thank one, even if we were to put 
the regulations into Hexameter and Pentameter 
verse ! 

Pray give my kindest love to my dear Father, 
etc., and remember me most kindly to all my 
friends. Ever, my dearest kind Mother, your 
truly affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I have not heard from any of you for some 


COIMBRA, March 2isf, 1810. 

My Dear Father, 

We arrived here yesterday from 
Lisbon after a rather tedious and rainy journey, 
and have for the present established our Hd. Qrs. 
here, but for how long it is impossible to say, or 
where we shall go when we do move. Both must 
depend entirely upon the enemy, who have given 
us a much longer period of tranquillity than I 
expected. The bubble, however, must soon burst, 
and I expect to hear daily of their making some 
movement, for we have very good reason to suppose 
they are much distressed by the want of provisions, 
a want they are not likely to mend by entering 
this country, in itself considerably exhausted, and 
where every means will be taken to place what is 
remaining out of their reach, or destroy it, in case 
we should be forced to retreat. 

I am anxious that the campaign should begin ; 
and to be able to judge of what our Portuguese 
will in reality do. I confess I have very great 
hopes of them. Their discipline is most wonder- 
fully improved, perhaps fully as good as necessary 
for active service, and only wants confirming. I fear 
their relaxing, when they get out of the immediate 
control of British Officers, before the enemy, and 
the class of their own Officers, though very much 
improved and mostly young men, have scarce 
experience and firmness enough to control them as 
we could wish. Their pay, which has in some 
cases been more than doubled, gives them the 
means now of living like gentlemen and with 

116 COIMBRA [1810 

respectability. In some cases it is better than ours 
in proportion, and since the service becomes an 
object, they will, we must hope, exert themselves, 
that they may not be deprived of it, which they 
certainly will without remorse, if they misbehave 
at all. 

Our cavalry is also getting into a very respect- 
able state, and now very tolerably mounted. I 
saw the 4th commanded by Lt.-Col. Campbell, 
Augustus' brother, manoeuvre at Lisbon at a gallop 
extremely well, certainly beyond anything Portuguese 
Officers had any idea of, and they are certainly 
equalled by the 1st Brigade, and Madden's the 2nd, 
which is mounted on mares, and I doubt will be 
able to bear the work equal to the other. It is an 
experiment, and my private opinion is that it will 
not succeed. Two Brigades of very fine infantry, 
the 1st cavalry, and 3rd Brigade of Artillery, are 
with Genl. Hill on the Frontier of Alemtejo, and I 
believe several other Brigades will be attached to 
the British Army in the Beira, and I think it most 
probable that some English Regts., as a reserve, 
will be attached to Marshal Beresford's Corps 
d'Armee. But where we are to go, or what to do, 
I am perfectly ignorant. 

I shall be much obliged to you to send me out 
a map of Spain and Portugal, published by Fadan, 
and compiled by Nantiat. It appears to be the 
best extant, and I am in want of a good one, so 
much so that you will much oblige me by sending it 
out by the very first opportunity, and Col. D'Urban, 
our Quarter-master General, begs me to procure 
him one also. They must be pasted on canvas 
and in strong cases. I have just been calling 


on General Payne, who asked very kindly after 

The Spaniards have attacked the French at 
Caceres and at Valverde and beat them, killing at 
each a General, one of Division. Though these 
affairs are of no great consequence in themselves, 
they may revive the dormant enthusiasm and 
patriotism of the Spaniards, but I confess I have 
very slender expectation of it. At Valverde it was 
done in a very slovenly manner, for they completely 
surprised the French, and the French General was 
in bed, but they amused themselves murdering a 
few unfortunate devils whom they first met, and let 
him get away with some Dragoons. At Caceres 
had their Cavalry behaved as well as their Infantry 
they would have taken or destroyed all the French, 
who prepared to receive them, but were completely 
beaten and followed for about a league. 

Believe me ever most truely your affectionate 

Wm. Warre. 

There has been a little trifling outpost work 
beyond Almeida on the Agueda. We had one 
Hussar killed. But this is of no consequence and 
leads to nothing. 

March 23, 18 10, W. W. 

Coimbra, March 30, 18 10. 

My Dearest Brother, 

The last two days have been fertile in 
happiness, as in them I have received all the letters 
from my dear family. Yours of the 5th is this 

118 COIMBRA [1810 

instant arrived. The breeches, etc., by Col. Brown 
I have received and not before they were wanted. 
I am much amused by the cause, though sorry for 
the fright you are all in. We cannot ourselves see 
any reason for this dread, and are spending our 
time pleasantly enough in peace and quietness, so 
much so that we are all sighing for a more active 
scene. Now I confess I do not think this far 
distant, but that the result is to be so disastrous to 
us I do not believe. I cannot think where the 
people in England get their information, certainly 
not from Portugal. It must be from " Bony," or it 
would not be given such disastrous colours, alarming 
our beloved families without any reason. You 
know my opinion of the ultimate result of the 
contest, unless something unexpected turns up in 
the north, or in Spain. But we are only at the 
beginning, and there is a great deal to be done 
before we are forced to embark yet, if it should ever 
come to that. 

What most annoys me is our British House of 
Commons, particularly the late Debates. Bona- 
parte can never want spies or intelligence, while 
that House tells our exact force and dispositions. 
I love the liberty which distinguishes their dis- 
cussions, but abhor the folly which makes each side 
sacrifice the interests of their country to their 
villainous party interest. They will tell the force, 
station, expence, of your armies ; they will foment 
discontent and distrust, treat your allies with 
disrespect, and (with regard to what they said of 
Portugal) with falsehood, to vex Ministers and get 
themselves in, and vice versa, for I think one as bad 
as the other. 


I am much delighted with your account of my 
Mother, whom pray tell that she need not be in the 
least alarmed about her tall son, who will take great 
care of himself for her sake, and that at present he 
cannot see any danger except of growing too fat, 
from having little to do and good living, and I will 
write to her by the next Packet. 

I cannot tell you what will be done with the 
Portuguese troops, who are really in very high 
state of drill and appearance, and, I have no doubt 
myself, will do their duty. For I do not know very 
well myself ; at all events, my private opinion is that 
it would be folly to leave them for the French, but 
these are after considerations, and no doubt when 
it comes to that push, proper measures will be 

Hd. Qrs., Mango Alde, May yd, 1810. 

My Dearest Father, 

It is indeed difficult to express to 
you the pleasure with which I read your very 
affectionate kind letter of the 8th of April. The 
approbation you express of my conduct (founded 
on the flattering accounts of my friends always 
willing to gratify a parent's feelings) is the greatest 
reward I can ever wish for. 

I avail myself of a courier, which the Marshal 
is sending to Lisbon, to write these few lines and to 
inform you that soon after my return from Porto 
to Coimbra, the Marshal went over to Vizeu, but 
I remained behind to rest my horses. But on the 
26th, owing to some movement of the mounseers 

120 HD. QRS. MANGO ALDE [isio 

upon Ciudad Rodrigo, our army received orders to 
march immediately, which they did on the 27th, 
on which day I arrived at Vizeu, and found, to my 
great satisfaction, that the Marshal, who, I heard, 
was ill, was nearly recovered, and only suffered from 
a very severe cold. We remained there till the 1st, 
giving time to our troops to arrive, and then moved 
the Hd. Quarters to this place, and to-day, the 3rd 
May, we move on the Fornos d'Algodres, where we 
expect to remain a few days. This, however, must 
depend on the movements of the enemy, or Lord 
Wellington's plans, and I am as ignorant of the 
intentions of the one as of the other. I conjecture 
that if they persist in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, 
an action is inevitable. Our Army is in the highest 
spirits — and we all wish it. Notwithstanding the 
very unfavourable weather we have had, as it has 
rained incessantly during the whole of their march, 
the Portuguese troops are in the highest spirits, 
and seem anxious to prove the good effects of their 
discipline and reorganisation. 

English Hd. Qrs. are at Celorico and the Army 
in that neighbourhood advanced as far as Gallegos. 
The French are about Tamames, St Espiritu, and 
advances before Cd. Rodrigo. Ballesteros, in the 
Sierra Morena, has been beaten, but not routed, 
"que milagre." 1 Genl. Hill made a forward move- 
ment at the end of last month in order to disengage 
O'Donnel the Spanish General, who was at Albu- 
querque. But on the French retreating he returned 
to Portalegre. Their Germans and Italians desert 
in great numbers. I have seen several parties of 
them who are remarkably fine men, and very well 

1 What wonder ! 


clothed, but they complain of never being paid, and 
that the French treat them like canaille. Nor have 
they enough to eat. Many more would desert, but 
they are afraid of the Spanish and Portuguese 
peasantry, who murder every thing that wears a 
French uniform. Yesterday 23 went through from 
Braganza. They were Prussians taken at Jena 
and forced to serve. They told me they had rather 
serve us than the enemies of their country. I never 
saw finer men. 

I now come, my dear Father, to a part that 
interests us more nearly, and I am very sorry to 
tell you that dear Clara has (notwithstanding the 
trouble I was at in preparing everything for her 
removal) refused to quit the convent. I have 
written to her in the strongest manner, and urged 
the propriety of this temporary inconvenience in the 
most forcible language, telling her how impossible 
it will be for me, should real danger occur, to break 
my trust by warning her even distantly, my prin- 
cipal reason for wishing to remove her, but all in 
vain. The nuns do all they can to prevent her, 
and every intrigue is used. It is their interest they 
fancy that she should remain, and you know the 
power those silly women have over her mind. She 
is, I fear, unwell with the agitation, and when Fre 
Bernardo went to bring her away, she pleaded 
illness not to see him, and he came away as he 
went. I am much vexed and annoyed at her resist- 
ance, but can do no more. It places me in a most 
unpleasant situation. I, however, enclose hers and 
the Abbess' answers to my letters, and from them 
you will be able to judge of what I have had to 
fight against. I really believe, poor thing, that she 

122 HD. QRS. MANGO ALDE [1810 

is ill, and dare not press her farther, and trust only 
that neither herself or any of her friends may have 
reason to repent her folly. 

I am very much obliged to you for the maps of 
the Tagus, Spain, and Portugal. The latter I much 

I am not surprised at Wilson's not mentioning the 
Marshal, who has no reason to be pleased with him. 
Nobody will deny him courage and talents as a 
Partizan, but to those who know facts, the attempt 
at thanks in the House are more adapted to make 
him appear ridiculous, than to do him honour. He 
can never want a trumpeter while he lives, and no 
man better knows the art de se /aire valoir. He 
must really be a clever fellow, to have, with 700 
undisciplined Portuguese, checked 30,000 French, 
terrified them much, and at the same time covered 
upper and lower Beira, Almeida, Ciudad Rodrigo, 
and ensured the retreat of English detachments, 
which the enemy never attempted to impede. Many 
other of his deeds, mentioned by the Hon. member, 
we never heard of. He is a very good fellow 
as a companion, and a very able light troop 
Officer, and if he would not attempt to be more 
than he really is, would be more respected. His 
conduct to the Marshal I can never approve, and 
he himself must feel lowered in his own estimation 
by it. 

I have been obliged to leave a horse I gave 80 
guineas for lame at Coimbra, and am reduced to 
two. On my return to Lisbon, however, whenever 
that period arrives I shall be able to buy another 
without drawing on England at all. 

Pray give my kindest love to dear Mother, etc. 


Adieu my dearest Father. Ever your most 
obliged and most sincerely affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

The Marshal desires to be most kindly remem- 
bered. H. Brown, who, poor fellow, has been very 
unwell at Lisbon, desires me in all his letters to say 
as much. 

P. S. — Ciudad Rodrigo is a wretched place, 
considered as a fortified town, perhaps a I'abri of a 
coup de main, but I think would not stand a regular 
siege for a week. Our neighbourhood may 
encourage the inhabitants however, while it checks 
the assailants, and they may do wonders as many 
other Spanish towns have. I fear Astorga has 
fallen, though I do not know it for certain. We 
have lost a few men at Cadiz and Col. le Febre our 
Chief Engineer, while evacuating an advanced work, 
which the enemy had nearly demolished with their 

Extract from Letter to Sister. 

Fornos d'Algodres, May 9, 18 10. 

We have had our Hd. Qrs. at this place for 
some days, nor do I for the present see much 
chance of our moving. It is a miserable little 
place, and in the whole of this house there are but 
half a dozen panes of glass in one window, and we 
are three in a small room, through the ceiling of 
which we receive light enough to save us the 


trouble of opening the window. It is, however, 
better than many we have had, and shall have, and 
therefore we are quite contented. Besides the house 
is full of Senhoras, pretty enough, if they would 
wash their faces and comb their hair, but you know 
Fidalgas and Fidalgos d'Albea have a right 
ab origine to be as filthy as they please, so long as 
they have finery and tinsel. I am much amused 
with the airs and affectation of these grands du 
village, who however, we must confess, are very 
kind and civil, and, to their no small and our very 
great annoyance, dine and breakfast with us a 
r Anglais e. 

We went last week over to Celorico the English 
Hd. Quarters, and staid two days, on one of which 
we went over to Guarda and reviewed two Portu- 
guese Regts. under torrents of rain, such as I never 
before recollect. Indeed, for the last three months 
this weather has been constant, as in that time we 
have not had three fine days. It looks better 
to-day, and for the sake of the troops I sincerely 
hope it will settle. I was much flattered by Lord 
Wellington's reception and kindness to me, and 
respect him too much to be indifferent to his good 
opinion. He appears confident and in spirits, and 
all his army are in the finest order, as are indeed 
comparatively our Portuguese, who have all shown 
great spirit in this hasty advance, and the greatest 
wish to meet the enemy. 

I forgot to mention to you our family consists 
of six or seven grown up young ladies, all of whom 
firmly believe that your letter was from a love, as I 
walked into my room to read it, and seemed much 
pleased at the receipt of it. They rally me very 

CLARA 125 

much about a Minha Carida, and I do not deny I 
love you very much ! I have a Valet de Chambre, 
a Portuguese, one of the finest gentlemen I know, 
but not a bad servant, if he was less affected, and 
less fond of his ease. He is a much greater man 
than I am. I have also a man from the 23rd, a 
very decent quiet groom and very fond of his 

With kindest love, believe me, etc. etc. etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

Hd. Quarters, Fornos D'Algodres, 
15 May 1810. 

My Dear Father, 

I wrote to you a few posts ago from 
Mangoalde, informing you of the very bad success 
I had in my attempt to remove dear Clara to 
Lisbon. After having everything arranged I am 
sorry to say that the agitation and distress it 
occasioned her was the cause of a slight fever. 
Poor thing! such is the effect of superstition and 
popish influence, and I have been much alarmed 
about her. However she is much better, indeed, 
I hope, by this time quite recovered. My situation 
with regard to her is very unpleasant. I dread 
urging the business or committing myself by writing 
very strongly to her ; and still, in prudence, I can- 
not be happy while she remains there. There is 
certainly no immediate cause of dread of the enemy, 
but a battle may decide much, and I know too 
much of war ever to wish any person that is dear 
to me to be even distantly exposed to its chances. 


I am therefore anxiously waiting to know your 
wishes about how I am to proceed. I much fear 
her health would suffer materially by insisting on her 
removal, and on the other hand, when there shall be 
any immediate cause of alarm, how can I risk 
alarming a whole Province by informing her of it. 
How difficult it is sometimes to reconcile private 
feelings to public duty ! The latter, however, is 

I have been much flattered lately by Ld. 
Wellington's reception of me, and lately remained 
two days at his Hd. Qrs. at Celorico 2 leagues from 
here. He has applied to me to procure him one 
Hghd. of very fine old Port. He does not care 
about the price, and wishes me to get you to take 
care of it for him in London. At Oporto it is 
impossible to get any old wine, and I therefore told 
him I would write to you, and beg your assistance. 
It is, I suppose, for some very particular purpose, 
and I shall therefore be glad to know how far you 
can assist me. It may be bem empregado? and may 
lead to an acquaintance on our return to England 
between you and a man of first-rate abilities. He 
says he thinks you ought to get one for him in 
return for his having taken away my snuff-box, 
though I am sorry to confess he has not made me 
leave off that vile custom, though he made me 
promise not to carry a box, to the no small annoy- 
ance of my friends on whom I must trust for my 

I have received the price of the Pipe of wine 
shipped by you for Sir David Dundas, and delay 
sending it, in the first place, till I can get a bill, 
1 Well employed. 


and in the next, that having received it in six 
Milfour pieces, I can scarce bring myself to part 
with them, as they are very scarce, and Dollars most 
inconvenient to carry about. I will write to Mr 
John Bell, who pays us, to buy a bill for the number 
of Dollars, and remit it to you, or will buy one 
myself, if I can, before next packet. 

Our accounts from the French army are that 
they are very sickly ; in Salamanca are about 2000 
sick, who die 30 or 40 of a day. Their troops are 
also much dissatisfied, particularly the Germans 
and Italians, who compose the chief part, and those 
desert very fast, and would much more, if they were 
not exposed to be murdered by the Peasantry, 
whether deserters or prisoners. It is really horrible, 
and defeats the exertions which are making to 
entice them to fly from their oppressors, and they 
are willing enough but for these difficulties. Some 
have come over horses and all. I never saw 
handsomer or finer looking men. They all agree 
in complaining that they are never paid, and but 
indifferently fed, and that they are constantly 
harassed and marched about. From the accounts 
we have, the French force immediately before us 
may be of 30,000 men, more or less, and certainly 
sickly. The constant rains which have continued 
for the last 3 months have been much against them. 
It is pretty sure now that they intend to attack 
Ciudad Rodrigo, which is a place of no strength, 
and their heavy artillery is on its march to that 
place, which has been summoned in a very impera- 
tive manner. Massena is reported to have arrived 
to take the command of the whole of this army. I 
am most anxious to know what steps Lord 


Wellington will take to prevent the reduction of 
Ciudad Rodrigo. It is of, I consider, the greatest 
consequence that it should be protected, if possible. 
It is a sort of outer door to our house, and, in the 
possession of the enemy, would enable him to 
establish his Magazines, Hospitals, etc., nearer to 
our frontier than we could wish. Ld. Wellington 
and Marshal Beresford know best however, and I 
shall feel confident of the propriety of whatever they 
do. I shall rejoice very much at quitting this miser- 
able village, where we are very badly off. 

Our troops as well as the English are well, and 
in high spirits, though in my opinion these canton- 
ments in small detached villages are greatly 
detrimental to their discipline, of which, however 
forward and astonishing, they cannot have acquired 
yet that habit which will admit of any relaxation. 
I am, however, confident that where they are 
commanded by British Officers they will behave 
well, and that, at the end of the Campaign, they 
will have acquired a character as Troops. It will 
indeed be heart-breaking to poor Marshal Beresford 
if they do not. His exertions have been Herculean 
and indefatigable, and their good effects felt in 
every branch of the Legislature, and has even now 
done enough to establish his character as a very 
superior, strong-minded, clever Officer, and should his 
labours be crowned with the success they deserve, 
he will become one of the most eminent men in 
England, and have deserved more of this country 
than they can ever repay. I cannot sufficiently 
admire the firmness and understanding with which 
he has overcome difficulties, which would have 
disheartened and overturned the plans of most, 


even very superior men. He is just the man for 
this particular service. Waters passed through 
this place yesterday with General Stewart. He is 
quite well, and gave me great pleasure by the 
accounts he gave me of all the dear family. By 
him I received the chart of the Tagus, for which I 
am very much obliged to you, as also for the 
drawers, which I fear are somewhat too small for me, 
but must do. 

I feel considerably distressed at the accounts 
from England. I always felt that we had nothing 
to fear against our foreign enemies whilst united 
amongst ourselves, and have long observed the 
struggles of a particular and very infamous set of 
men, to sap the public confidence in their Govern- 
ment and Constitution, for it is at that they now 
strike direct, and neither the respectability of the 
King, nor the critical situation of the country, can 
prevent these fellows from endeavouring to create 
confusion and a revolution, in which the mob are to 
have the lead, for by that alone can such designing 
unprincipled miscreants be countenanced or exalted 
to any power. I consider the question as no longer 
one of opposition against Ministers ; that I should 
not mind. It is in the very nature of our constitu- 
tion. But the question is now whether the country 
is in such a distressed situation from unhappy 
political circumstances — whether the want of 
unanimity of Ministers, and the state of mind of the 
dregs of Society, are in such a state, that Sir F. B. 1 
and his gang can expect to be able to overturn the 
constitution, and raise themselves upon the wreck 
of their country. I have no patience that such 

1 Sir Francis Burdett. 



fellows have so long gone on without punishment, 
and the seeds of civil discord once sown, there is 
no knowing where it may end. There are never 
wanting factious, needy men to foment it, who, 
having nothing to lose but their lives, would 
sacrifice their country to gain something in the 
appearance of power. Respectability is out of the 

Adieu. Pray now and then send me the 
general opinions of the day. To us at this distance 
they are highly interesting. Pray give my most 
affecte. love to my dear mother, etc., etc., etc., and 
believe me, Ever my dear Father Your most 
affectionate son, 

W. W. 


Fornos D'Algodres, 
May 23rd, 1 8 10. 

Massena is just arrived to take the command of 
the army of Portugal now between Ciudad Rodrigo 
and Salamanca, which consists of Ney, Soult, and 
Mortier's Divisions. He is one of B.'s best generals. 
I dare say he will shortly attempt something, but 
we are too well prepared to fear much his first 
attack, but how far we shall ultimately be able to 
resist numbers upon numbers, unless Spain assists 
us, is another question. 

Hd. Quarters, Fornos D'Algodres, 
May 23, 1 8 10. 

My Dear Ellen, 

As you desire to hear from me 
immediately I will not lose a moment in thanking 


you for your dear letter of the 15th and 24th April, 
and for your affectionate kind wishes on my 
birthday. . . . 

We have been in this Quarter near a month and 
most heartily tired of it. It is a miserable little 
village on the side of a very high mountain, opposite 
to the famous mountains of the Estrella, and about 
a mile from the river Mondego, and 8 from Celorico 
the Hd. Qrs. of Lord Wellington. 

I have lately changed my abode, as in the last 
the rain ran in upon my bed, and we were three in 
a very small room with one window without a pane 
of glass. Indeed in the whole of the Marshal's 
Quarters there are but 6 in one window. We only 
had one bason and one jug, and you may imagine 
the squabbling as to who was to wash first. I have 
deposed some silkworms from my present room, 
and have at least the luxury of being alone, and 
having a broken pewter bason, none of the cleanest, 
to myself. There's luxury for you ! The rain how- 
ever, which has been incessant for the last 3 months 
or more, has found its way in, and runs in tolerable 
streams in four parts of my dismal abode. My bed 
escapes, and my bason and some broken jars catch 
water. Therefore I am rather well off. 

At the General's, my last Quarter, we had 7 or 8 
grown up young ladies, des grands du Village, the 
most affected stupid misses I ever met with in 
any barbarous country. They never were three 
miles from home, and ape notwithstanding from 
hearsay what they fancy great people should do. 
They think me I believe very proud, and the 
young ladies are mighty shy. I am not, however, 
quite safe from the attacks of a maiden aunt of 30 


to 40 with little cat's eyes and bad teeth. I think 
she will find I am bomb-proof to her kind looks and 
sighs. She has already begun to try what disdain 
will do, to my great joy and amusement. You 
would be much entertained to see us assemble at 
breakfast and dinner, near 20 people. We have 
succeeded at last in making them wash their hands 
and faces, and if we remain long enough no doubt 
will also attain the desideratum of combing their 
hair, even for breakfast, or rather before breakfast, 
and once or twice a week, oftener than on Sunday 

Public news I have none to tell you, except the 
arrival of Massena to command the army of 
Portugal, which is between Ciudad Rodrigo and 
Salamanca. He is a very clever enterprising 
Officer, and will soon give us something to do, I 
have no doubt, but we are not at all afraid of him, 
as our troops both English and Portuguese are in 
the highest spirits, and the latter so much improved 
that they hardly know themselves again. I have 
no doubt they will do their duty, but should wish to 
break them in by degrees. 

Ever yr. most affectionate Brother, 

Wm. W. 

Extract from a Letter of Thomas Warre 

London, June 20, 18 10. 
My Dear Father, 

I write these few lines to inform you I 

this morning received a long letter from William, 

from Fornos d'Algodres, June 6tk, the same place 


they were in before. He is very well and writes in 
very good spirits. They have had dreadful bad 
weather by continual rains. 

The French have invested Ciudad Rodrigo 
closer, but William thinks before they attack that 
place, they will drive in our advance corps, General 
Crawfurd's Division, which overlooks their opera- 
tions, and should they succeed in driving them in, 
Beresford's forces must retire to concentrate. But 
William does not expect they will succeed, not being 
in sufficient force. He still speaks favourably of 
the native troops, who are kept a good deal on the 
alert. They have lately had great feasting. Ld. 
Wellington on the 4th inst. gave a dinner to 
Beresford, which was returned by him, and all went 
off remarkably well. 

William has again written to poor Clara, but 
fears nothing he can urge will induce her to move 
at present. I lament it exceedingly. . . 

On getting to Throgmorton St. I found a few 
lines from Capt. Hardy. The date is 28th of May 
off Fernesen in the Gt. Belt. He merely says that 
he is quite well, and that they are proceeding on 
to the Baltic, that is the St George, Formidable, 
Stately and Resolution, and that nothing had 
occurred worth noticing. 

Extract from a Letter of Thomas Warre 

Hendon Place, July 8, 18 10. 
[I deferred writing to you as I expected to find 
letters in town from Wm., which we did of 13th 


He wrote as usual in great spirits, but the 
crisis of their fate approaches. The French had 
completed their bridges across the Agueda, so 
Cd. Rodrigo was invested, but their heavy artillery 
had stuck in the mud near Tamames, somewhere 
between Salamanca and C. Rodrigo. They have 
three Corps d' Armee, viz. : Junot, Ney, and Regnier's, 
which is opposed to Genl. Hill to the Southward. 
Their force he supposes to be 60 to 70,000, very 
sick and discontented. Much will depend on their 
first sweep, but if the Portuguese troops fulfil the 
promise they give at present, he has no doubt they 
shall give them a good licking. Ld. Wellington's 
Hd. Qrs. were at Celorico. The front of the allied 
army extended from Pinhel to Guarda. Adv. gd. 
at Gallegos, 2 leagues from C. Rodrigo and the 
advanced Picket at Marialva, close to the French 
outposts. I saw Col. Ross yesterday. He has 
exchanged into the 48th ; both Batts. of which are 
in Portugal in Genl. Hill's Division. He had seen a 
letter from Ld. Wellington to one of Mrs Ross's 
Brothers. He writes in great spirits. My Father 
likewise saw a letter yesterday from General Off. of 
high rank, who said that their position was an 
excellent one, and that the C. in. C. has made the 
most judicious arrangements. All this is very good 
as far as it goes, but I shall look for the next 
arrivals with much anxious impatience. 

Hd. Qrs., Fornos D'Algodres, 
June 20, 1 8 10. 

My Dear Father, 

I am sorry to tell you that the 
Marshal has not yet received any answer from the 


Government respecting the admission of Rice and 
Grain free of duty ; and I begin to fear that their 
usual narrow and absurd policy opposes more 
obstacles to this very desirable object than was at 
first expected. Indeed, if so, nothing can be more 
absurd, as although the harvest promises very well, 
particularly Rice and Barley, owing to the un- 
common lateness of the season, the Indian corn is in 
most places but just sown, and in many not yet. 
Much must therefore depend upon the dryness of 
the latter end of the Autumn, and before that I 
think the scarcity will be so great, that they will be 
forced, though late, to open their ports, and give 
every encouragement to importation, or starve. 
The men and oxen have been kept away from 
their agricultural pursuits, to attend the armies 
with their carts, and this has delayed and impeded 
very much the ploughing, and hoeing, and reaping, 
as has also in some degree the very great consump- 
tion of cattle. The moment the Marshal gets an 
answer I will write to you, and to Porto to Pedro 
Alvez, which I have not done hitherto, because in 
the first place I could tell him nothing decisive, and 
in the next, it appeared to me prudent that it 
should be kept quite a secret that such an allowance 
in point of duties was in agitation. 

The weather has at last set in very hot, which I 
hope will increase the great sickness of the French, 
who have been mostly exposed to the continued 
rains we have had till now. Our people, both 
English and Portuguese, are getting into the most 
satisfactory state of health, having been under 
cover and quiet. 

The Enemy continues almost in static quo. 


They have completed their bridges over the Agueda 
at Val d'Espino, and covered them by a small tHe 
de pont. By their means the investment of Ciudad 
Rodrigo is completed. Their heavy Artillery and 
Mortars are, I believe, still fast in the mud half- 
way to Salamanca, but this hot weather will now 
soon enable them to bring them up. After which 
I have no idea that Ciudad Rodrigo can hold out 
a fortnight, from its construction, which is com- 
pletely irregular and very defective, besides being in 
some degree commanded at about 800 yards. This 
will probably be the prelude to our play, and then 
we shall all become actors. They seem very shy 
of us, and I do not believe have as yet completed 
their preparations, or collected a sufficient force to 
attack us. Their foreigners continue to desert in 
considerable numbers, and more would I am sure 
come over, but for the steps the French have taken 
to prevent them. Our advanced Picquets have 
frequent skirmishes with them, which lead to 
nothing but wounding a few men and horses on 
each side. 

We went over two days ago to Francozo to 
inspect a Portuguese Brigade with Lord Wellington, 
and afterwards to Minucal (?) to see the 16th Lt. 
Dgns., who are in very fine order, and made a most 
excellent review. At Francozo we visited the 
Nuns. The Porteress gave Lord Wellington, etc., 
etc., leave to enter, and some of us rambled all over 
the Convent. I never saw more poverty, misery, 
and dirt, except indeed some of the cells which were 
tolerably neat. Most of the Nuns were in the 
Choro at prayers, and not a little astonished at 
seeing a large party of men appear at the door from 


the inside. There were some pretty girls enough, 
but they were so long at Prayers, that we could not 
stop to speak with them, and had the full and free 
range of their abode. This visit of the great 
people will furnish conversation, I dare say, for 
years ! 

The price of Indian Corn at Montemor Velho, 
which regulates for Coimbra and all that neighbour- 
hood, was last week at 1 1 Testoons 1 the Alqueire. 
It had been at 12 T. the fortnight before. 

Believe me ever, my dear Father, Your most 
sincerely affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

To His Brother 

Hd. Qrs., P.A. Francoso, Nr. Pinhel, 
June 27, 1 8 10. 

My Dear Tom, 

We removed our Hd. Qrs. here two 
days ago and the English Hd. Qrs. to Almeida, on 
account of the very interesting situation of Ciudad 
Rodrigo, and to be within reach of immediate 
information respecting any movements of the French 
Army, which becomes every day more interesting. 
Their heavy Artillery being arrived, they on the 
evening of the 24th commenced a brisk fire on the 
place, which was returned with great vivacity by 
the besieged, and continued until 10 o'clock on. the 
25th in the morning, when a most tremendous 
explosion took place in the French lines from their 
Powder Magazine blowing up, (N.B. has since been 
ascertained to have been in the town), and immedi- 

1 Testoon= about 5d. Alqueire = about 3 Imp. gallons. 

138 FRANCOSO [lsio 

ately after two lesser explosions (which were in the 
French lines). The quantity of Powder must have 
been very great, as it was seen at this place by 
several of our officers, nearly 40 miles off, and at 
Almeida, half-way between this and the Ciudad 
Rodrigo, the shock was very strongly felt, and 
Governor Cox writes that it shook the whole place. 
Certain it is that the French batteries ceased firing 
and the Spaniards continued for two hours after. 

If their loss is what we suppose from these cir- 
cumstances, it will be a most serious loss to them, 
as I know not how soon they can replace it in 
Spain, and will probably delay their attack upon us 
for 6 weeks or 2 months, a great point gained for 
us, whose object is by gaining time to complete the 
discipline of our Army, etc., and who are getting 
very healthy. These, however, are the effects we 
wish for, and, like other people, we are very apt to 
fancy the probability of what we wish for, though 
at the same time you must not imagine that we are 
the least afraid of them even now. We know that 
their army is very sickly. They average deaths 
46 to 50 a day, are in want of everything, and their 
intercepted letters show that they are very much 
disgusted. The Spaniards carry on a desultory 
and most destructive warfare. They scarcely dare 
move out of their Quarters without risking to be 
assassinated, and their losses in this way and by 
desertion are very great in every part of Spain. 

They drive in our Picquets now and then. 
They have a great superiority of Cavalry, but 
nothing of any consequence has taken place. But 
if the greatest part of their powder is not destroyed, 
we may expect something every day. I cannot 


think they will let Crawfurd with the advance 
Guard remain so near them. Their and our 
vedettes are 400 to 500 paces from each other and 
we overlook their camp, which is very extensive, I 
suspect more so than they have any occasion for, 
considering the number of men they have. They 
are quite up to all this sort of humbug. If our 
Portuguese do as we expect, we are not uneasy 
as to the result, and if we lick them what a 
glorious day for Old England ! I like this place 
better than Fornos, though we are not very well 
off either, and have a large Brigade of Infantry with 
us in the town. I am very well, the only annoy- 
ance is my face, which as well as my lips always 
peel and are very sore. By the end of the campaign 
I daresay we may pass ourselves off for Portuguese 
Indians, or any other tawny gentry you please. 
Adieu, etc. 

Francoso, July 9, 1 8 10. 

July 2. — Hardinge and myself left Francoso 
about 6 in the evening to visit the advanced guard 
and outposts of the Army under Br. Genl. Crawfurd 
stationed in front of Gallegos, in New Castile, with 
his Hd. Qrs. at Almeida, about 4 miles in the rear. 
We arrived late in the evening at Pinhel, where we 
remained the night. Next morning set out after 
breakfasting with our friend Major Murphy of the 
88th, (the Bishop of Pinhel being absent from 
Pinhel,) having dined at Francoso the day we 
left it for Almeida, the direct road to which we 
missed, and proceeded by an almost impassable path 
down to the Coa, which here on either side presents 

140 FRANCOSO [1810 

a most formidable position, totally impracticable for 
cavalry and artillery except over the bridge and 
high road leading to Almeida from Freixedas, 
Guarda, Pinhel, etc. According to the reports of 
its whole course from its confluence into the Douro 
to near Alfaiates, with the exception of two leagues 
beyond Almeida towards its source, it presents, 
from the very great steepness and rocky soil of its 
banks, a most formidable barrier to any army 
attempting to advance towards Vizeu, Celorico, 
Guarda, or Francozo, from the neighbourhood of 
Ciudad Rodrigo. It is, however, liable to be turned 
by Sabugal, or Castello Branco, and opposed to a 
superior army its great extent is a very serious 
inconvenience, as any part of the line being forced 
must oblige the rest to retire. 

While Almeida, which is about a mile and a 
half from the river on the Spanish side, holds out, 
I consider any attack by that road as not to be feared. 
Though the greatest part of the descent to the 
bridge is out of sight of the town, the enemy's 
movements would be very much impeded in attempt- 
ing to advance. Considering all circumstances, the 
great superiority of the enemy and nature of a great 
part of our troops, I have much doubt in my own 
mind of any position being attempted to be defended 
on the Coa, as a general one for the Army, but this 
a few days must show, and I am no way in the 

We crossed the Coa at a very bad ford called 
Veia, about a mile below the bridge, and arrived at 
Almeida, waited on Governor Cox ; and, after 
walking round the works (which from their nature 
I do not at all envy him the defence of, considering 


the troops he has, mostly Militia,) continued our 
march to Fort Conception to see our friend Lt. Col. 
Sutton, who had been appointed Governor, when 
there was an intention to defend it. But since the 
great superiority of the enemy rendered it impos- 
sible to attempt to relieve the brave Spaniards in 
Ciudad Rodrigo, it has been resolved to blow it up, 
and it has for that purpose been mined all round. 
When the enemy seriously advance this beautiful 
Fort will be entirely destroyed. It is a thousand 
pities. I never saw a more complete or perfect 
fortification with every part bomb-proof, even 
stabling for 200 horses. Its outworks are admir- 
ably adapted to defend the approaches, which are all 
round a perfect natural glacis to several hundred 
yards. Of the necessity of the measure I am no 
judge, but fear it will much vex the Spaniards. 

We arrived about 3 o'clock at Almeida, and 
dined with Genl. Crawfurd, with whom after dinner 
we rode out to look at the French posts beyond the 
little river Azara, over which there is a bridge of 
stone leading to the village of Marialva, and about 
a mile beyond Gallegos. Along this line were 
about 3 squadrons of the German 1st Hussars 
doing the outpost duty, their reserves in Gallegos. 
I went down to the bridge and endeavoured to 
persuade two French Officers to come down and 
speak to me. They were, however, very shy, and 
only came near enough for me to tell them. that 
some friends of theirs, who were taken prisoners 
near Chaves a year and a half ago, were well. I 
observed they were constructing a wooden bridge a 
short distance to the left of the former, and from 
the exhausted appearance of the Forage on the other 

142 FRANCOSO [1810 

side, their having removed the cars from blocking 
up the stone bridge, and certain reports of deserters, 
it appeared very probable they would drive in our 
posts next morning, the 4th July. They had there 
and near Carpio about 5 or 6 Regts. of Cavalry 
and some Infantry, 4 to 5000 men I should guess 
in all. Our Infantry, consisting of the 43rd, 52nd, 
Rifle Corps, and two Portuguese Cac^adores Battns., 
one very good and the other very bad, were 
stationed in the woods in front of Alumeda, about 3 
or 4 miles in our rear. 

At daybreak they crossed the little river Azara 
over their two bridges, and drove in our Picquets. 
They had 12 squadrons and 2 Brigades of Infantry, 
but our three squadrons were supported by a troop 
of Horse Artillery, which kept them in check and 
enabled our little body to retreat in safety on the 
Infantry though close pressed and skirmishing very 
sharply the whole way. It was the prettiest thing, 
en fait de guerre, I ever saw. The retreat was 
very well conducted. Their Artillery could not 
come up till near the end of the affair, and ours 
killed a great many of their men and horses, while 
our Cavalry were in comparative safety. Their 
numbers enabled them constantly to turn our 
flanks, and the superiority of our horses as often 
to get out of the scrape. 

A party of the German Hussars under Capt. 
Kranckenberg behaved particularly well, charging 
at the passage of a small bridge a very superior 
number of the enemy, though supported by four 
Squadrons within pistol shot on the other side. It 
was very well done. Two French Officers were 
severely wounded and some men, and one prisoner 


was taken, though, poor devil, he was covered with 
wounds, 6 in the head, and his arm nearly cut off, 
also run through the body, and wonderful to say, 
he is expected to recover. The French seemed 
much irritated at this check, and kept up a very 
brisk fire up the road we retreated by, within about 
50 yards from us. Nor were they sparing in abuse, 
and confident of still cutting us off, when we arrived 
at our Infantry which checked them, and a Squadron 
of their 3rd Hussars coming unexpectedly on the 
3rd P. Ca^adores (an excellent Corps commanded 
by Lt.-Col. Elder) received a very warm salutation 
which dispersed them. The Battalion behaved very 
steadily and well, and give us hopes of the Portu- 
guese troops, on whose conduct the issue of this 
Campaign must in a great measure depend. 

The Division commenced its retreat towards 
Fort Conception covered by the Cavalry, whom I 
here quitted, having offered myself to act as aide-de- 
camp to Genl. Crawfurd. The Infantry returned 
in very good order through Alumeda towards Fort 
Conception, and General Carrera with his Spaniards, 
who were in our rear, by the fords of Algardon to a 
very strong position covering the roads that way. 
These Spaniards are remarkably fine men, about 
3000 well clothed, though not uniformly, and armed. 
I did not, however, think much of their discipline or 
regularity. Hardinge placed them, and seemed to 
be much pleased with General Carrera's appearance 
and manner. 

The French gave up the pursuit about half a 
league from Fort Conception, and retired again to 
Gallegos, on this side of which place they estab- 
lished their vedettes, having attained, what I 

144 FRANCOSO [isio 

suppose was their intention, a new ground to forage 
on, and having reconnoitred our force, to ascertain 
whether or not Lord Wellington had come up with 
the army. Our loss was about 4 or 5 men wounded 
and as many horses. That of the French, so far 
as we could see, and have since heard from 
deserters, several Officers and about 30 or 40 men 
killed and wounded. After halting about two 
hours near the Fort, our advanced guard took up 
a position at Val de la Mula, on the Portuguese 
frontier, with the Cavalry about a league in front, 
leaving a space of about a league between their 
vedettes and ours. And this ended this little affair 
which Hardinge and myself had so much wished to 
see, and which was certainly very instructive. Au 
reste a great deal of firing to very little purpose. A 
strong proof of how ineffectual the skirmishing of 
Cavalry is, except to cover the retreat of larger 
bodies, and prevent the columns being fired into. 
Our people and theirs were constantly within 30 
yards of one another firing with no effect, though 
neither party had any idea of fear. When it can 
possibly be avoided the less powder wasted this 
way the better. The best arm for Cavalry is the 
sword or sabre, a well broken horse and firm 
presence of mind, reserving the pistol or carbine 
merely for the purpose of vedettes, or covering 
some movement. 

At Val de la Mula Col. Pakenham asked us to 
breakfast and afterwards to dinner, and during the 
whole of our stay we are much indebted to his 
civility, as also to Capt. Rowan and Wm. Campbell, 
brother to Augustus, who prevented our ever 
wanting a meal or forage for our horses during our 


stay. General Crawfurd was also very civil to us. 
While retreating he sent me with some letters to 
Governor Cox at Almeida, whom, however, I was 
fortunate enough to meet at Val de la Mula, which 
saved me a very tiresome ride, and enabled me to 
return immediately, but everything was over, and 
I was so tired that I was very glad to lay down in 
the guard-room of the Fort, which was evacuated, 
to take a nap, which was not of long duration, as I 
had taken possession of the mattress of a Spanish 
shepherdess of no very gentle nature, who was so 
clamorous and violent in claiming her property, 
that I was forced to yield it up for fear I might not 
escape so well from her gentle paws, as I had from 
the French. Besides, poor things, I could not but 
pity them. It was most distressing to see them 
abandoning their habitations, and flying away from 
the miscreants, loaded with what little property 
they could carry away, crying and lamenting, 
followed by their helpless children, while the men 
drove away their cattle, and all uncertain where 
they might find a place of safety. In Portugal the 
natural animosity which exists so violently on the 
frontiers, and which even the similarity of their 
misfortunes and distress cannot do away, they had 
but a dismal prospect of meeting with a friendly 
reception. I pitied them from my heart, to relieve 
was not in my power. How little does the indepen- 
dent happy English Peasant know how to value the 
peace and security in which he lives ! And how 
would those miscreants who preach discontent and 
faction through the country, giving them ideas of 
wants and liberties which are incompatible with 
society and government, how would they blush if 


146 FRANCOSO [1810 

they were to witness the sufferings and oppression 
which these poor people undergo ! They would see 
that in England alone the peasantry are now happy 
and free, and would see their own infamy in sowing 
the seeds of discord and civil dissension among 
that happy people, when every mind should be 
united and heart joined to resist the oppressor of 
mankind ! If reform is necessary let us wait for 
moments of peace with foreign enemies, when we 
do not risk, by dividing amongst ourselves, the 
entire ruin of the most perfect fabric of government 
that ever existed, even with all its faults, and give 
every advantage to our enemies by exposing as 
some of our Senators do, by way of opposition to 
Ministers, or to get themselves in, our forces, inten- 
tions, weakness, faults, etc., etc., in fact, for the sake 
of a popular speech in the House, tell the enemy 
everything they ought most to conceal, even the 
stations and exact numbers of the troops, of our- 
selves, or of our allies. This conduct leads us half 
way to our ruin, and we shall repent it when it is 
too late. 

On the 5th, early in the morning, Hardinge 
and myself rode out beyond Alumeda, towards 
Gallegos, till near the enemies posts, to see what 
damage we had done them the day before and what 
they were about. We found in the road two of 
their dead and some horses, evidently from the 
effects of our Artillery, as they were much mangled, 
and we also saw some more to the right and left of 
the road at a distance. A very large flight of 
vultures of very large size were flying about them, 
and on the ground, which added much to the disgust 
of the scene, and after ascertaining the positions 


of their vedettes, we hastened to return. Being but 
indifferently mounted, and at a great distance from 
our outposts, we were very much afraid of being cut 
off by some of their patrols, and, returning through 
Alumeda, I was just observing to Hardinge that we 
should look very foolish if we were to be taken, when 
I turned my head and saw a French Hussar close to 
us. Hardinge had not even his sabre, having 
broken it the day before, and I saw nothing was 
to be done but to charge him, for which purpose I 
drew my pistol and galloped at him, when he sur- 
rendered, a no very glorious prize, as his horse was 
so tired that he could not move out of a very slow 
pace, and it was with difficulty and anxiety we got 
him into one of our picquets. He was a French 
lad, and told me he had deserted that morning, 
owing to the ill-treatment of his chief, and the want 
of everything they experienced in their Camp, and 
said he intended to go to England and work at his 
trade, a cabinet maker, as he had a cousin there, 
whom he intended to enquire for at the Commune 
(police office), though he had not heard of him for 4 
years. I have great doubts of his being a deserter 
at all, and rather think he was as much surprised 
to see us, as we were to see him. He is quite 
a Frenchman, and contradicted himself twenty 
times ! 

We arrived at our quarters at 8 o'clock, and 
breakfasted with Col. Pakenham. After which ' we 
set out, 5 in number, well armed and mounted, to 
reconnoitre the enemy on our left, and proceeded 
without meeting any as far as Villa de Porco and 
Barcilha, from the heights above which we 
distinctly saw with our glasses Ciudad Rodrigo, 

148 FRANCOSO [i8io 

which was keeping up a very heavy fire, and 
defending itself as if it were manned by heroes. 
Let them now surrender when they may. They 
have done their duty, and it is heartbreaking to 
think we can in no way assist them. 

At Barcilha our party divided. Hardinge, Col. 
Pakenham, and Capt. Cotton went by the right, and 
Capt. Shaw, A.D.C. to Genl. Crawfurd, and myself 
agreed to go and visit Villar de Ciervo, and all that 
line, and ascertain whether the French had occupied 
all those places, or Villar de la Egoa, where there 
are some excellent fords over the Agueda, and 
which, being in rear considerably of our left on the 
4th, gave Genl. Crawfurd no small anxiety. We 
met nothing, and returned about 4 to dinner, having 
suffered only from the extreme heat, which fagged 
me a good deal, being rather bilious, and prevented 
my accompanying them in the evening, instead of 
which I paid a visit to my friends in the 52nd, 
whom I was very glad to see looking as well as 
ever I saw them at Shorncliff, though perhaps with 
less pipeclay. 

Next day was spent nearly in the same way. 
In the morning we rode out reconnoitring to 
Alumeda, dined afterwards with General Crawfurd, 
and set off on our return to Pinhel, 4 leagues, where 
we arrived late at night and slept, and next day 
came home, after a most delightful trip, and having 
just seen what we wished and expected. The 
retreat of the advanced guard had for some days 
appeared inevitable, and it was to see how it would 
be conducted that we went over. 

The desertion continues from the French in 
great numbers, 8 to 1 2 of a day while we remained 


with the advance guard, and they all agree in 
stating that their Army is badly off for provisions, 
and the foreigners much disgusted, and would 
desert in greater numbers but for the vigilant 
means that are taken to prevent. Junot and Ney 
with their Corps are before C. Rodrigo, and I believe 
also Mass^na, as are also the traitors Alorna, 
Pampeluna, Sancos Mezeude, against whom no 
measures are taken by this Government, and we 
know they are supplied with money, etc., from their 
estates in this country, which are not sequestered or 
disturbed. So much for weakness and infatuation ! 
The count Doidga(?) has been declared infamous and 
his offspring for three generations, and his property 
sequestered. He is a poor wretch and can do no 
harm, though not less a traitor, while these 
scoundrels, with arms in their hands, known traitors 
before the Prince embarked, and treated by him 
with great lenity, are suffered to attack their native 
country with impunity. It is most disgusting. 

I do not think the French will attempt anything 
till C. Rodrigo falls, which, notwithstanding their 
heroic conduct, cannot be long delayed. It will 
enable the French to establish their magazines and 
hospital. What the plans for the Campaign are I 
know not. Everything promises a very warm one, 
and I confess I look with some anxiety to the 
conduct of the Portuguese troops, on whom much, 
nay everything, must depend. They promise well, 
it is true, in every respect, but still they are very 
young troops and never tried. The force against 
us is very superior. But on the other hand the 
greater must be the difficulty of supplying them 
and means of transport. We retire on our supplies 

150 FRANCOSO [isio 

while they advance from them. And everybody 
has great confidence both in Lord Wellington and 
Marshal Beresford, and if the native troops fight 
like men, I have not a doubt we shall succeed, 
though the loss must be inevitably great on both 

My own idea of their attack is that they will 
keep their principal Corps in our front, leave 
Regnier with his Corps, and keep Hill in check in 
the Alemtejo, while with a strong column they 
endeavour to force the passes near Castello Branco, 
or by Sabugal, endeavouring to unite near Thomar. 
By this means if Hill retires and crosses the Tagus, 
either at Villa Velha or Abrantes, the Alemtejo is 
left open, and we cannot but feel some anxiety for 
the Capital, or rather for the opposite side of the 
river, which would occasion great confusion. Hill 
must then defend the passage of the Tagus, which 
abounds in fords as low as Salvaterra, and also 
endeavour to check the enemy's advance by the 
passes of Salhadas, etc., from Castello Branco or 
Abrantes, and if either of these movements of the 
enemy succeed, I should imagine the whole Army 
must fall back from the Upper Beira upon our 
works round Lisbon, that is Torres Vedras, 
Bucellas, etc., etc., for fear of its communications 
with Lisbon and our stores. Or if they do not 
attempt Alemtejo, I think they will attempt advanc- 
ing in three columns by Castello Branco from Coria 
and Placencia, and from Guinaldo, etc., by Sabugal, 
and in our front by Celorico or Guarda, endeavour- 
ing to unite beyond the Sierra de Estrella. In 
this case we shall come into play immediately. 
Almeida, I think, they will merely mask by a strong 


Corps, and leave in their rear. If they succeed, the 
place must fall of course. If not, there is not force 
enough in it to annoy them. These are my own 
private opinions, and, from the very little means I 
have of information, must be considered as mere 
speculations, and as such, if erroneous, I may be 
excused, as I really know not how far they may 
agree with any others. 

Hd. Qrs., Francoso, 
July 10, 1810. 

My Dear Father, 

I received your letters of 13th, 15th 
June, on the 1st of this month, and my having been 
absent at the outposts alone prevented me writing 
by last packet to thank you for the very interesting 
information you give me about Ferguson in particular, 
and the other occurrences of the day, as also for the 
affectionate friendship and solicitude on my account, 
which would be a sufficient reward in themselves 
for anything I can ever do. 

I send you, annexed, a sort of journal of my 
proceedings during my little excursion to the out- 
posts, which was very interesting. It was written 
in considerable hurry and just as the things 
occurred to me. The opinions also merely specu- 
lative, as I have but little means of positive informa- 
tion. I should therefore wish you to consider it as 
merely for your amusement and confidential, and 
for those few who can feel any interest in such 
trifles because they concern me. 

Our situation becomes every day more interest- 
ing. The heroic defence of Ciudad Rodrigo has 

152 FRANCOSO [1810 

delayed the operations against this country, but I 
consider that it is impossible the place can hold out 
much longer. 

What the issue of this contest may be, it is very 
difficult to guess. The enemy have certainly from 
70 to 80,000 men, and we as certainly Troops of the 
Line not so many, though we have other advan- 
tages which they cannot have, particularly the 
people and the country in our favor. Lord Welling- 
ton and the Marshal appear very confident and in- 
high spirits, and so does the whole army, who are 
in excellent order. Our Chiefs know best the 
real situation in which they stand, and the con- 
fidence every one feels in them will make the Army 
do wonders. Much must depend upon the 
Portuguese troops. At all events I think 
prudence would dictate the removal of all property 
from this country, and leaving as little to chance of 
war in point of business as possible, and although I 
by no means wish to croak, when I consider the 
great superiority of the enemy in numbers, and the 
nature of our Troops, with many other circum- 
stances, I confess I do not feel quite so confident of 
our ultimate success. But I shall not form any 
decided opinion till I see our people tried. 

Pray thank my dear mother for her kind letter 
of the 30th May from Hendon, and Tom for his of 
the 19th June, and for Greenwood and Cox's 
abstract of my account. I am a good deal 
surprised they have not received my claim for 
losses. By the account I see they have received no 
part of them and suspect they do not much exert 
themselves, as I know other Officers have received 
theirs. By Tom's letter I observe a warrant has 


been issued for ^36, 15s., I suppose for my horse 
shot at Vimiero. 

I hope you have had a pleasant trip to Woburn 
and Holkham. I am always happy when I hear of 
your amusing yourself in a way I know to be so 
much to your satisfaction. 

I have got at Lisbon two Merino Rams and 3 
Ewes. They tell me they are very fine, and my 
difficulty now is how to send them to you. I write 
by to-day's post to Messrs Bulkeley to beg them to 
take charge of them for you, and send them by the 
first ship to London, and shall inform you of their 
answer. If you had no place to keep them yourself, 
and nobody else you wish to give them to, pray 
present them to my uncle Greg with my kind love. I 
am, however, a good deal bothered about getting them 
home, being myself at such a distance from Lisbon. 

Adieu ; pray give my kindest love to my 
dearest mother, and believe me ever your most truely 
Affectionate and Dutiful Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I will tell Ld. W. about the pipe of wine when I 
see him, and am much obliged by your attention 
about it. 

July ntk. — A very heavy firing and cannonade 
was heard yesterday morning at Ciudad Rodrigo, 
which is a proof that the place still holds out. 
Poor fellows, I fear they will pay dear for their 
heroic gallantry, since we cannot assist them. 

I have been able to hear nothing further about 
the free importation of rice and grain, and I fear 
it will not be allowed from the delay. 

154 FRANCOSO [i8io 

Hd. Qrs., Francozo, 

July 25, 1810. 

My Dear Father, 

I have but just time to write you 
a few lines that neither you nor my mother may 
be anxious about me, when you hear of the un- 
fortunate affair of our Advanced Guard yesterday, 
at which, however, I was not even present. The 
French attacked Br. Genl. Crawford's Division, 
consisting of 43, 52, 95, and 1st and 3rd Portuguese 
Cac^adores, about 3000 men, and some squadrons of 
Cavalry, with 23 squadrons and about 10 to 12,000 
Infantry. I fear there was some delay in retiring 
across the Coa, and, being very close prest in their 
retreat, our brave fellows suffered very considerable 
loss, about 300 killed and wounded and 30 Officers. 
The 43rd I hear have suffered most, and have 14 
Officers killed and wounded, as also the 95th, of 
whose loss I am ignorant, except of the death of 
poor Capt. Creagh. Col. Nutt of 43rd is killed and 
Capt. Hull wounded. They had arrived from 
England the evening before. The 52nd also lost 
some men and Officers, but I have not been able to 
hear any names, except that of Lt.-Col. Barclay 
being slightly wounded in the head. The 3rd 
Cacadores under Col. Elder behaved very well, and 
suffered some loss. 

I am sorry I cannot add as much for the 1st, 
who did not behave so, and ran off at the very 
beginning, though their Col. d'Arilez, a very fine 
young man, behaved very well, as also some of the 
Officers. So much for want of discipline and con- 
fidence. I had before expressed my fears about 


them. I am just about setting off to enquire into 
the business, and I hope a most severe example 
may be made to prevent the recurrence of such a 
horrid disgraceful business. If they will not fight 
from feelings of patriotism or honour, they must be 
made to do so from fear of a more infamous death, 
and a more certain one, if they deserve it. It is a 
measure of peremptory necessity ; though I have 
much pleasure in being able to add that in an 
attack which Regnier made on Salvaterra away to 
our right, the ist Portuguese Cavalry commanded 
by Col. Pays of Mangoalde behaved most nobly, 
charged three times, and as often repulsed the 
enemy, and at last completely drove them back, and 
I believe the French had the superiority in numbers. 
Our advance guard having effected its retreat at all 
before so very great a superiority is most fortunate, 
that is across the Coa, whose banks are tremend- 
ously steep, and the road narrow. The French 
three times attempted to force the bridge after 
them but were repulsed, and lost a good many men 
on it. The tremendously heavy rains and storm 
we have had these last two days had fortunately 
spoiled the Fords of the River entirely. Otherwise 
I much fear our little Corps would have been entirely 
cut off and taken. 

The English kept possession of the bank till 
early this morning, when the whole line was aban- 
doned and our advance established at Carvalhos or 
Carvalhal. The French vedettes are on this side 
the river, and Almeida is consequently in some 
degree invested. I scarce believe they will besiege 
it, but rather content themselves with blockading 
and starving it, which will not be easy, as they have 

156 LAGIOSA [1810 

4 months' provisions complete. Pray send Augustus 
Campbell word that I hear both John and William 
are well, the former I am not sure was engaged. 
Wm. was of course with Crawfurd. I fear you will 
be scarce able to read this very hasty scrawl, but I 
have at this moment so many things to do in order 
to get away before late in the evening to reach 
Freixedas to-night, that they must serve as my 
excuse. You shall hear from me every opportunity. 
Adieu. Pray give my kindest love, etc, Yr. ever 
dutiful and affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

Lagiosa, August^ 1810. 

My Dearest Father, 

Many many thanks for your very 
kind letter from Eastley End of the i6th July, and 
for the excellent account you give me of all my friends. 

We continue here very quietly, and except the 
taking of a few prisoners at the outposts in front, 
and the peasantry having risen and killed a good 
many of the enemy, who straggle into the villages 
to plunder or seek for food, nothing of any con- 
sequence has occurred since my last. 

The French appear to be preparing for the 
siege of Almeida, but have not yet established any 
batteries. From the accounts of all deserters and 
prisoners they are much distressed for provisions, 
particularly bread, which as the Peasantry all fly 
from their ill-treatment, they are forced to thrash 
out, carry to the mills, and grind and bake them- 
selves. In some places the Officers alone have 


bread, in others they sometimes receive 3 lb. between 
8 men. They are also much in want of shoes. A 
very intelligent Italian sergeant, who was brought 
in yesterday, assured me that their 66th Regt. lost 
on the 24th Ultmo., in the attack near Almeida, 
500 killed and wounded, and the other two Regi- 
ments also a very large proportion. They therefore 
must have lost upwards of 1000 men in all, which 
is more than we supposed. They continue to 
desert in great numbers whenever they have the 

Our Portuguese troops are behaving very well. 
The 1 st Regt. of Dns. at Atalaya towards Castello 
Branco attacked 80 French who were in the town, 
killed 25, and took 20 men and horses. Yesterday 
evening an account arrived from Bragan^a that a 
squadron of the 12th Dns. had been attacked by a 
French squadron, which they defeated, took 40 men 
and horses Prisoners, and killed all the rest, except 
2 Officers and a soldier who escaped. Many of 
these Prisoners are badly wounded. The Portu- 
guese squadron must have behaved very well to 
have done the business so effectually, and although 
these small affairs are of no great consequence (in 
themselves), yet they give us very pleasant hopes of 
what the Portuguese [troops] will do when more 
seriously engaged. 

I have this instant been to see three French 
Cavalry, who deserted yesterday evening. They 
say they did so because they are starved, and that 
25 of the 3rd Hussars and 8 more of their men had 
deserted the day before. These men, who are 
native French, come over mounted and completely 
armed. They say that nothing but desperation 

158 LAGIOSA [1810 

could make the Infantry go leagues from the Army 
to get food at the risk they run from the Peasantry, 
and that their Regt. of the 15th Chasseurs a 
Cheval have in 4 months been reduced from 900 to 
400 men by sickness (which is very great in their 
army) and loss of horses. These men belong to 
the 6th Corps, Ney's, and could tell us nothing 
about Almeida. Adieu ; Believe me ever yr. most 
truely affectionate Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I hope my father will receive the Merinos safe 
which I sent him, and that they will turn out well. I 
wish him to keep them or dispose of them just as 
he pleases. 

I send a letter from Clara, which pray deliver 
to him. 

Lagiosa, 22nd August 1810. 

My Dear Father, 

I intended to have written (you will 
be amused at this beginning and the length of the 
letter, which I write at a gallop, expecting every 
moment that the Marshal will mount) you a long 
letter to-day, but, being on the move, I have only 
time to tell you that our Army has again made a 
forward movement, and we this day change our Hd. 
Quarters to Avelans da Ribeira, to the right of 
Alberca, which becomes for the present Lord 
Wellns. Hd. Quarters. The Army is all on the 
move, but I am ignorant of what the intention of 
our Generals is, whether to cross the Coa and raise 


the siege of Almeida, on which place they have not 
yet that we know of opened their batteries, or 
whether by a diversion on this side favor the 
disturbances which have been reported to have 
arisen in Spain. Whatever it is, it is a forward 
movement. Everybody is in high spirits. 

The distance to which Junot has removed with 
his Corps d'Armee, and Regnier being occupied by 
General Hill, it leaves only the 6th Corps, Ney's, to 
besiege Almeida, and, if the other Corps are really 
at such a distance as not to be able to support it, it 
would be a shame for us to let them take that place 
before our faces. As yet we know pretty correctly 
from deserters, who continue to come over in 
considerable numbers, that they have only 
completed the first parallel, and were at work at 
constructing the batteries in it. Their heavy guns 
had arrived but were not mounted. The garrison 
keep up a very brisk fire, and the enemy have lost 
some men. They press forward very boldly at day- 
break, their light troops close to the place, and fire 
into the enclosures to annoy the gunners. 

But Br. Genl. Cox, the Governor, by telegraph 
informs us that he does not much mind them, and 
that the garrison is in excellent spirits. Hitherto 
the Portuguese have had all the firing on their side. 
When the batteries open from the enemy, we shall 
be better able to judge how resolute they are. I 
daresay they will do very well. 

I can, however, assure you that the situation of 
the French in Spain is most distressing. Officers 
of rank from Madrid write to France (intercepted 
correspondence) that they are reduced to the 
greatest necessity. Joseph the usurper, with an 

160 LAGIOSA [1810 

army of 250,000 men in Spain, is only in possession 
of that part of his kingdom which the Troops 
occupy. The supplies from Cordova and Grenada 
to Madrid are no longer sure, indeed most precarious. 
In short, all orders write almost in utter despair, 
and conjure Buonaparte to alter his system with 
regard to that wretched country. The army have 
not been paid for ten months, and in many parts, 
particularly Almeida and its neighbourhood, are 
dreadfully distressed for bread, and all the foreigners 
ready to desert the first opportunity. Buonaparte 
says he can only give them yearly 24 millions of 
Francs (1 million sterling), what folly! The tyrant 
recommends rigour, which is all in our favour, and 
his party from Spain write that if the Emperor 
cannot be got to alter his plans with regard to the 
Spaniards, they cannot with all their force and 
advantage answer for the consequences. 

Kellerman with all his Divisions of cavalry 
cannot prevent the excursions of the Peasantry to 
the very gates of Valladolid. We have also reports 
of great disturbances in Madrid, and the move- 
ments of the French Corps make me believe it. 

We have had no affair of consequence since my 
last to Emily. The Eagle which Silveira took with 
the Swiss Battalion at Puebla de Senabria arrived 
here. It is an imitation of the Roman Eagles, and 
I think an ugly one. It has, however, its effect upon 
the volatile courage and vanity of the French. To 
them a cap of liberty, or emblem of slavery, is equal, 
so long as it flatters the self-sufficiency and vain- 
glory of the grand nation. The Battalion is gone to 
Corufia to embark for England. None will return to 
France. They will almost to a man enlist with us. 


I must again request, my dearest Father, to 
consider this information about Spain as confi- 
dential for the present. At all events not to 
mention my name, though I do not see any harm 
in your mentioning it, though not as coming from 

This is the anniversary of the Battle of Vimiero, 
and at this time that day we were warmly engaged. 
I hope our next day may be as brilliant. Our 
army both English and Portuguese is in excellent 
health and spirits. I have great faith that our 
Portuguese will astonish the French most un- 
pleasantly for them. 

Adieu. Kindest and most affecte. love to my 
dearest Mother, etc., etc. Yr. ever affectionate and 
Dutiful Son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I have written this letter in such a hurry that I 
fear you will have considerable difficulty in either 
reading or understanding, but pray excuse it, as I 
have been every moment expecting to be called 
away. Adieu, Adieu. 

May every blessing and happiness attend you 
and all my dear, dear family. 

P. S. — I had little idea I should have had time 
to-day to write when I wrote this yesterday. 

By the enclosed, which I send open, you will see 
that we have halted two days. But as I am 
completely ignorant of what the intentions were of 
our chiefs, it would be folly to attempt to account 
for it. W. W. 



162 LAGIOSA [1810 

Hd. Qrs. Lagiosa, 

29M Aug. 1 8 10. 

Many many thanks, my dearest Father, for your 
letter of the 1st, and the expressions of your 
affectionate approbation which will ever make the 
greatest pride, as well as the greatest happiness 
of my life. You will see that we have again 
retired to this place, on the unexpected fall 
of Almeida, which we suppose surrendered on 
the 27th. The enemy's batteries opened from 
different sides and very briskly on the night of 25th 
to 26th. We could distinctly see and hear them 
firing. On the 27th I was dining at the outposts 
with General Slade, when a report arrived that, no 
firing being heard for several hours on either 
side, the place must have been taken. I hurried 
up to the Telegraph in front of Freixedas and from 
what I could see through the glass I had not 
a doubt of the event, as I could see people coming 
in and out and the rampart crowded over the gate. 
Many Officers who were present saw the same. 
But the next night a heavy firing was heard, which 
has confused me a good deal, as I thought myself 
positive, and do, of what I saw through a glass, 
and this certainly appears a contradiction to it. 
Next morning Ld. Wellington and the Marshal 
went up at daybreak, and I suppose thought there 
was no doubt of the place being taken, though still 
some doubt of when, and orders were given for the 
army to retire again, which was done yesterday and 
continues to-day, though we do not leave this place, 
nor, I suppose, shall till the enemy advance. 


There was a little skirmishing at the outposts 
yesterday, and I am sorry to say Capt. Ligon of the 
26th is wounded in the neck, I do not know 
whether badly. Our advance vedettes remain 
where they were, in front of Freixedas, extending 
towards Pinhel, in which place the French are. 
How long things may remain in this state it is 
quite impossible to say. My opinion is that the 
enemy is not yet in force to advance. Nor will the 
state of affairs in Spain allow it for the present. 
At all events they must have considerable garrisons 
and posts of communication, and by drawing 
them into the interior, destroying the means of 
subsistence, mills, and forcing the inhabitants to 
fly on their approach, which they are ready enough 
to do, I trust we shall be able to meet them on 
equal terms, and where we please, to give a good 
account of them. I hate grumbling and croaking, 
and think it most unsoldierlike in an army such as 
ours, even were we less strong. We must trust to 
the fortune de la guerre, and the abilities of our 
Generals. I wish that every English Officer 
thought the same and wrote less nonsense to their 
friends at home. 

As to Almeida, it is quite an enigma, how it 
came to yield so soon. No breach can have been 
made, and from the opinion I have of General Cox, 
I much fear either he was killed, or the garrison 
forced him to this step. As, however, we know 
nothing but on conjecture it is as prudent and 
liberal to suspend our judgment. A week more or 
less must at all events have brought us to this, and 
it is a most ridiculous idea to despond at the event, 
as if it altered our situation. 

164 LAGIOSA [1810 

On the 22nd there was a very gallant little 
affair at Ladoeiro between Castello Branco and 
Salvaterra. Capt. White of the 13th Lt. Dns. 
with a troop of that Regt. and a troop of the 4th 
Portuguese Cavalry (our friend John Campbell's 
Reg.) attacked 60 French Cavalry, and without 
the loss of a man or horse, took 50 men, 7 corporals, 
3 sergts., and 2 Officers. The Capt. and some men 
endeavoured to escape on foot, but were afterwards 
killed by the Peasantry. So that not one went 
back to tell the tale, and the French, thinking the 
whole had deserted, sent out another party in 
search of them. They had 7 or 8 men wounded, 
and Capt. White speaks very highly of the gallantry 
and good conduct of Cornet Raymundo Oliveira 
and the Portuguese Troop, who charged in very 
great style and tumbled the Mounseers over in a 

I am quite delighted that you are pleased with 
my having got the Merinos, which I am sorry to 
say missed their passage to London owing to a 
mistake. They are in the care of Messrs Bulkely, 
who have promised to forward them by the first 
opportunity. Should I be able to procure any of 
a very good breed, I will, you may depend, never 
forget you. I am quite vexed I did not get 15 
when I got these, which I hear are very fine, but I 
was then quite at a loss how I should get them 

I received a very kind letter from Col. Ross 
from Sarzedas. He was quite well, and I am happy 
to hear is coming into the Portuguese service, 
where he will, I expect, command a Brigade. I have 
said everything in my power to the Marshal about 


him, and I have no doubt he will do everything for 
him. Mrs R. and the children, he tells me, are at 
Weymouth. Pray thank Tom for his letter which 
I will answer on the first opportunity. Also pray 
tell my Uncle Wm. with my kindest love that I 
have received a letter from the Honble. A. C. 
Johnstone with his letter enclosed, requesting me 
to procure him a letter from the Marshal to the 
Marquis de la Romana, which I have done, and in 
very strong terms, and I shall be happy to hear it 
has answered his purpose. Should he come into 
our neighbourhood, I will shew him every attention 
in my power, as he may depend upon, I will to any 
friend he may recommend to me. Adieu, my 
dearest Father ; pray give my kindest love to my 
beloved Mother, Emily, etc. Yr. ever dutiful and 
most truely affectionate son, 

Wm. Warre. 

I am astonished at Greenwood not having 
received my Coruna losses. The Board of Claims 
is dissolved ; I think it very hard. 

I have this moment seen a letter from Guarda 
stating a French Colonel to be arrived there a 
prisoner, and that a Lieut.-Col. was killed. They 
were, it is said, reconnoitring with Massena at 
Naves d' Haver, and missed their way in the fog 
and rain, which was not improbable, as I never saw 
such tremendous thunderstorms as we had 
yesterday and the night before. The same letter 
also says Almeida is taken, and the Governor 
reported to be killed. 

166 LAGIOSA [1810 

August 29, 1 8 IO. 

My Dear Father, 

I have since writing this morning 
heard the official account of the surrender of 
Almeida, and the fact is this. On the morning 
of the 27th a shell fell near the principal magazine 
as they were in it and making cartridges, the door 
being open the whole blew up with an explosion 
that destroyed a considerable part of the town, and 
of course created the greatest confusion in the place. 
Cox, finding all his ammunition gone, except a few 
rounds, sent to propose surrendering in case the 
garrison might be allowed to join our army, which 
in consequence of the intervention of the Marquez 
D' Alorna, Pampeluna, and other Portuguese traitors, 
was refused by Massena. Cox declared he would 
not surrender under other conditions, and recom- 
menced the fire till next morning (the 28th) when 
every cartridge being used he was forced to 
surrender as Prisoners of war. As the garrison 
marched out and were formed on the glacis, it was 
offered them to either march prisoners to France, 
or enter the service of Napoleon. To a man they 
refused the former (sic) 1 (except one Major of Artillery 
who had been before tried as a Traitor), a most 
noble act on the part of a garrison mostly Militia, 
which strongly shews the spirit of the people. I 
also much rejoice in my friend Cox having got off 
with honour and credit to himself and the British 

1 There is some confusion here ; to make good sense " the latter " 
should be read. But see Oman, vol. iii., p. 275. 


The French Colonel and some men who were 
taken with him, passed through this since I wrote. 
He belongs to the Gendarmerie and is a hand- 
some looking fellow, though he has a very sneaking 
appearance. He as well as his companions were 
wounded. The Lt.-Col., his friend, was killed. We 
last night took 9 Dns. prisoners at Freixedas 
which the French occupied, and have since again 
abandoned. Adieu. Yr. most affecte. Son, 

Wm. W. 

I am writing as hard as I can, so pray excuse the 
difficulty you will have in reading this Postscript. 

The Major of Artillery Barretto, who proved a 
traitor, was sent by Cox as a flag of truce. The 
scoundrel told all he knew, and never even returned 
to the place. I suppose he found it too warm a 
berth, and was devilish glad to get out of it. A 
traitor is almost always a coward. He flies from a 
greater hoping to find a lesser danger with the 
enemy, or from the same reason that a man robs 
or murders, from natural vice or villainy. What 
miscreants are Alorna, etc., etc. 

Extract from Letter, dated Hendon Place, 

Oct. 2, 1 8 10. 

Hendon Place, 
Oct. 2, 1 §10. 
No arrivals, and of course no news from dear 
William. Lord W. had retreated towards Vizeu. 
We presume things were going on as usual on the 
nth, as Paris papers to the 23rd are in town, and 
they hear at Paris in eleven days from the army. 

168 NEWS OF BUSACO [1810 

Extract from Letter, Hendon Place, 
i 6th Oct. 1810. 

Hendon Place, 
\6tk Oct. 1 8 10. 

I give you joy of the glorious news. How 
delightful it is that the Portuguese have behaved so 
nobly. They have shown Bony's ' spoiled child of 
Fortune ' what they can do when well organised 
and commanded. Some of the Regts. were com- 
manded by Portuguese. It will give dear William 
great satisfaction, though he will be sadly disap- 
pointed at not being there. He had been afflicted 
with his old complaint — was gone to the rear to 
recover. I do pity him not sharing in the glory 
when he has partaken so much of the fatigue, and 
General Beresford's army having borne the whole 
brunt of the action makes it doubly mortifying as 
such an opportunity may not again offer. I long 
for letters from him, but fear we have no chance till 
the Packet arrives. Capt. Burgh told Papa he was 
quite recovered. 

The French have concentrated their whole 
force, and were so determined to carry the day they 
only brought Frenchmen into the field. They 
would not trust their foreigners, who continue to 
desert in great numbers. Massena applied to Lord 
Wellington for permission to bury his dead, which 
was refused, as Ld. W. wanted to ascertain their 
numbers. — Above 2000 were interred, and the 
general proportion is 3J wounded to 1 killed. On 
this occasion it is supposed to be much greater, as 
the French had no artillery or cavalry, and we 


played away after them with grape and shot from 
our artillery down the hills. 

Four of the Pintos are among the wounded or 
killed. A cousin of theirs is wounded. 

A. E. W. 

Extract from Letter dated Hendon, 25M Oct. 
1 8 10, referring to W. W.'s Letter, Oct. 6. 

Hendon, 25/^ Oct. 18 10. 

At last we have got letters from Dear William. 
They are of a very old date (6th Oct.) and must 
have been unaccountably delayed in London, as the 
Packet of the 8th has been long arrived and one of 
the 1 6th arrived on Monday. Poor dear fellow, he 
has had another dismal voyage of pain and suffering 
from Figueira to Lisbon, but again met with 
kind friends, and is, God be praised, restored to 
health — in one of the letters he says Jack Croft 
joined him as soon as he heard of his being ill 
at Coimbra, and accompanied him in a crowded 
transport of sick and wounded, sharing the floor 
and his bearskin, and administered to him and his 
fellow sufferers every comfort in his power, and on 
his arrival at Lisbon took the trouble off his hands 
of seeking for a lodging for a poor little fellow 
under his protection, who had lost a leg and' been 
obliged to suffer two operations for it, but is now 
likely to do well. A son of Sir J. Frederick's, Major 
Stanhope, saw William on the 12th at Belem. He 
was then so much recovered that he talked of 
joining the Marshal (now Sir W. B.) in a day or 

170 LISBON [1810 

two. I suppose you will like to have an extract. 
The first part of his letter is all about my mother's 
illness, as he had just received my letters acquaint- 
ing him of it. He then says he has recovered his 
strength and looks so wonderfully fat, every one is 
astonished at it. " It will, however, require a fort- 
night or 3 weeks' quiet sea-bathing to confirm the 
tone of my nerves, which have been a good deal 
shook by resisting a very tedious and debilitating 
illness in hopes of sharing in the glory of my 
companions : and it has been a bitter disappoint- 
ment to have been in the rear during the late 
glorious actions, when the Portuguese troops 
behaved so nobly. What a pleasure it must be to 
the Marshal. And he deserves it, for his exertions 
(for which success is the best payment) and for his 
excellent honourable character. I believe every- 
body now does him justice for the honour and 
rectitude of his intentions. Of the movements of the 
army I know little, but believe they are falling 
back on the positions at Mafra, etc., which are 
entrenched and prodigiously strong. If the French 
press forward I think a decisive and good battle 
inevitable, but I do not think they will, and, if they 
do, I have not a doubt of the result, and Nap. will 
have got into a pretty scrape. If they beat us, we 
have equally strong positions at St Juliens, but 
this God forbid. For the sake of the poor natives 
I trust all will be well. They deserve it for their 
loyalty and willingness, but I really have great con- 
fidence that the infamous invader will get a com- 
plete defeat. The French left 3000 dead on the 
field at Busaco. How they could attempt to attack 
such a position I know not, nor can I conceive, 


except that they entirely despised the Portuguese 
Infantry. Inganarao says they were mistaken ! 
but we have yet to give them better proof of it. 

Clara is safe and well at Porto, and her 
obstinacy in staying in the Convent has caused me 
great anxiety — 

A. E. W. 

Major Elliot's treatise on the defence of 
Portugal is remarkably well worth reading, and 
gives a very just and true and impartial account 
of the people and country. 

Hd. Qrs., P.A., Casal Eschin, 
a mile to the Eastward of 
Enxara DOS Cavaleiros, 5 1. from Lisbon, 
Oct. 20, 1810. 

My Dearest Father, 

You will see from the date that I am 
quite recovered, and have joined the Army and my 
excellent friend the Marshal, who, to my great joy 
I found on my return two or three days ago, quite 
well notwithstanding the fatigue he has undergone, 
I was in such a constant fidget in Lisbon, and so 
uncomfortable that I could not remain any longer, 
particularly as the weather did not admit of my sea- 
bathing, which was my principal object in going to 

I am much disappointed at not hearing from the 
family last packet. A packet is daily expected and 
I trust I shall be more fortunate. 

On my return I found our Army in a position 
as strong as anything can well be imagined, studded 


with Redoubts and Batteries, extending from the 
front of Torres Vedras to the Tagus at Alhandra, 
by Bucellas, on the chain of hills which runs behind 
Sobral, nearly from the sea to the river. It is 
rather an extended one, but a part is so strong by 
nature, and by art, that the troops can with great 
safety in great part be spared to repel the enemy 
wherever he may attack, and I feel not a doubt of his 
being forced to abandon the enterprize and retreat, 
or that if he attack us, scarcely a more desperate 
measure than the other, he will be completely 
defeated and destroyed. 

Massena, as far as my very slender knowledge 
of these matters goes, is in a most desperate scrape, 
and I scarce see how it is possible to get out of it 
without the loss of a great part of his army. I 
cannot account for his incautious advance, for he 
has little reason to doubt the conduct of the Portu- 
guese after the Busaco business, and could scarce 
be such a fool as to imagine that because we retired, 
we were hurrying to embark without fighting a 
battle, after having so completely beaten him at 
Busaco. I dare say he had no idea of the great 
strength of these lines. I had none myself, though 
I had seen parts of them. But now that he is close 
to us, I cannot see how he can avoid fighting us. 
Even should we be unfortunate, we have other 
strong lines to retire to, and we must fight him 
again. As for embarking, I do not see how that 
is to be accomplished, if we are defeated, and did I 
feel less confident of victory, and less fearful that 
they will not attack us, I should think the game as 
desperate for us as for them. However, nothing can 
exceed the confidence and spirit of our army, who 


are very well provided, while we know for certain 
the French want entirely for bread, and must soon 
for meat. At present they have enough. Their 
Officers tell them they are to be in Lisbon in a fort- 
night, but the reports of their deserters, and their 
number, sufficiently prove how little they are 

Trant and Genl. Miller and Colonel Wilson 
advanced suddenly with a large body upon Coimbra, 
and took about 5000 sick and wounded, 80 Officers 
and a whole company of the Marines of the 
Imperial guard, who have all except about 200 
arrived at Porto, and are long e'er this embarked. 
It was a dashing movement which completely 
destroys the enemy's communications that way 
with Spain, and has spread the greatest terror and 
dismay in the French Army, as well as great 
disgust at their sick being abandoned, with so 
weak a garrison as 300 men. Many of these 
wretches must die and have died. Such are the 
horrors of war, but one cannot pity them, when we 
consider the enormities and cruelties they commit 
everywhere, where they pass, they are a horde of 
the most savage Banditti, and, desperately miser- 
able themselves, they spread terror and desolation 
wherever they approach. 

We go every morning to a large work near 
Sobral, in which place they are, and from whence 
we see almost all our own position, and what they 
are about. Their posts are about J mile from it, 
and close to ours. Junot's and Ney's Corps 
darmde in our front in the different villages, but 
most encamped near a large pine wood, and in it, 
about 3 miles in our front. And this is their prin- 


cipal force, about 30 to 35,000 men ; and Regnier's 
corps is on our right near the Tagus in front of 
Hill. Ld. Wellington's dispositions are very much 
approved by everybody, and said to be masterly. 
As far as I can judge, I think so too. 

The greatest cordiality exists between the 
Portuguese and English troops, and they are so 
disposed as mutually to support and encourage 
each other, without much being risked by their 
misconduct should it be so, which nobody now fears, 
or could in justice the most captious, after the 
proofs they have given of their courage and good 

J. Croft came yesterday and shared my bearskin 
with me on the softest straw I could procure, and 
this morning he rode at daybreak with me to the 
Battery, where I showed him the lions. It was 
very interesting, as there were several movements 
on the part of the enemy, who appeared to be 
concentrating their force in the wood I before 
mentioned, and near it, fronting our centre. But 
my own private opinion is that if they attack us at 
all, they will attack the left. 

Croft afterwards set off again for his son, and 
as I did not think I should be able to get back 
again in time to write, I begged him to mention 
that he had seen me and I was well. I have, how- 
ever, fortunately returned in time to write this hasty 
scrawl with a wretched pen and greasy paper, which 
must excuse me with you for the difficulty you may 
have in reading it. 

I have received the second part of the transla- 
tion on the Defence of Portugal, but have not had 
time to read a line yet, for we breakfast at J-past 


4 and dine at six, which, with a good deal of riding, 
makes us most ready to avail ourselves of all 
leisure moments to sleep. 

Adieu. I hope my next may be to announce a 
most glorious victory, of which I have not a doubt, 
whenever they attack us, and which from circum- 
stances I do not think they can long delay, and we 
are quite ready to receive them. 

Believe me, my dear Father, Ever most gratefully 
and most affectionately, Yours, 

Wm. Warre. 

From some deserters from the enemy's Cavalry 
who are come in we hear that they are practising or 
rather drilling their men to charge with the bayonet. 
It is rather ridiculous at this time of day, after 
pompous boasting of having carried everything at 
the points of their bayonets. They cannot drill 
their hearts and minds, and we shall always beat 
them at that work, as our fellows' minds and nerves 
require no drilling. 

Falmouth, Nov. 14, 18 10. 

My Dear Father, 

I am very much afraid you will 
receive this letter before that I wrote to go by last 
Packet, and which, owing to a provoking mistake, 
was left behind and goes in this. By it you will 
see that after I rejoined the Marshal my illness and 
pains returned with increased violence, and it was 
intended to prepare you for what I feared would be 
the consequence, my being forced to return home. 
But still I was most unwilling to quit my post, and 

176 FALMOUTH [i8io 

give up at such an interesting crisis, the chance of 
an opportunity of making myself known. And this 
made me bear for upwards of a fortnight the torture 
of laying on the ground with but little comfort and 
less rest. It could not, however, last long, and my 
horse falling with me and on my bad leg and bruis- 
ing it, forced me to go to Lisbon, and have a 
consultation on my case, when after some delibera- 
tion it was determined that I should go home, and 
I accordingly embarked on board the Walsingham 
Packet, and after a very rough and tiresome voyage 
of 10 days, we are at length arrived at this place, at 
which I shall be forced to delay a day or two before 
I can venture to travel. When I came on board I 
was almost a cripple, and suffered an agony of pain 
beyond anything I can describe. However I have, 
thank God, for the last two or three nights been 
able to sleep a little, though I am very weak, and the 
cold pinches me much. By avoiding with great 
care catching cold, and by slow journeys, I trust 
when I arrive in London that I shall at least be free 
from pain. I hope to be able to get to town in 
about 8 days or less, if I find I can bear the 
journey well. Poor Ross is arrived with me and 
will remain a few days. He is better, I think, 
considerably than when he came on board, but still 
very weak and low. He goes to Bath, as soon as 
he can travel. My last will give you all the news, 
since which things remained in statu quo when we 
sailed. The general opinion was that Mass^na was 
about to retreat. Loison's division had passed the 
Zezere. With most affecte. love, etc., etc., yr. 
affecte. son, 

Wm. Warre. 


HONITON, Nov. 1 8, 1810. 

My Dear, Dear Father, 

I arrived at this place this evening 
after being three days on the road since I left 
Falmouth, and most completely tired of Cornish 
moors and Cornish travelling at 4^- miles an hour. 
I only reached Bodmin instead of Launceston the 
first day, and Oakhampton on the next, and though 
I intended to have remained this day at Exeter and 
rested, I resolved, having lost a day, to push on, 
and, except I find myself unusually unwell, shall 
proceed by short stages to London without halting 
an entire day anywhere, and about the 22nd I hope 
to arrive. I am happy to say I have borne the 
journey better than I expected notwithstanding the 
weather, which has been much against me. I am, 
however, a good deal fatigued, and it is not unlikely 
I may be forced to remain a day on the road. I 
did not send you the reports by the Stag merchant 
vessel from Oporto, as considering dates and circum- 
stances they appear to me quite improbable, not to 
say quite impossible. That a battle took place so 
that accounts reached Porto on the 7th is impossible, 
(as we sailed on the 4th, and such a thing was not 
expected), except indeed we can do away all im- 
probabilities, those of the French attacking us, .and 
then, en militaire, I do believe their defeat inevit- 
able, and that Ld. Wn. attacked them I do not 
believe. Pray give my most affecte. love to my 
beloved Mother, I am, etc., etc., Yr. ever affectionate 

Wm. Warre. 




During the early part of the year William Warre 
was at home, an invalid, under the care of his 
family. He gradually recovered his strength, and 
by the end of April was pronounced convalescent, 
the medical authorities allowing him to start for 
Portugal as soon after ist May as he could find 

Meanwhile great events had occurred in the 
Peninsula, absence from which fretted him much. 
In January 1811 Marshal Soult had invested 
Badajos, which was surrendered by Imaz on nth 
March. After securing Badajos, Soult, whose 
presence was required in Andalusia, returned to the 

Massena had early in March retired from 
Santarem, but still held on tenaciously to Portu- 
guese soil, from which he was not driven till after 
the combat of Sabugal on 3rd April. In the 
interval Beresford had recaptured Campo Mayor 
and Olivenga. He had now 22,000 men under his 
command. With these he proceeded to lay siege 
to Badajos. Wellington, who on 20th April had 
come to Elvas, was soon summoned back to his 



army, which was investing Almeida, by the news of 
a forward movement on the part of Massena. 
Reinforced by detachments from Bessieres, he had 
now a force of full 40,000 men at his disposal, and 
was strong in cavalry, in which the allies were weak. 
Followed on 5th May the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, 
which was fought to cover the blockade of Almeida, 
and was almost not a victory for Wellington. On 
the 8th the French retreated. On the 10th the 
French garrison of Almeida, under General Brennier, 
made their escape. Meantime Soult from the 
south again advanced to relieve Badajos, which 
Beresford was besieging with no adequate battering 
train. The latter took up a position at Albuera, a 
few miles to the south-east of Badajos, where, on the 
1 6th of May, was fought the fiercest battle of the 
war, the memories of which have been enshrined in 
immortal prose by Napier. Towards the middle of 
May, Marmont succeeded Massena in the command 
of the army of Portugal. Poor King Joseph about 
the same time attempted, but in vain, to divest his 
head of the crown, which caused it so much uneasi- 
ness, and to retire into private life. On 25th May 
Badajos was for a second time surrounded, but not 
for long. The siege was raised again early in June. 
At the end of May, Wellington was blockading 
Ciudad Rodrigo. 

Hostilities after this dragged on without any 
events of great moment, until in September Marmont 
advanced to relieve Ciudad Rodrigo. After the 
action of El Bodon, the allied army, which was .in a 
critical position, in the face of superior numbers and 
a vastly superior force of cavalry, withdrew to the 
hilly ground of the upper valley of the Coa, and the 
French Marshal, having missed the opportunity of 
striking a decisive blow, retired, with the result that 
Ciudad Rodrigo was again invested. The fact was 
that the country was exhausted, and the French 

180 PORTSMOUTH [1811 

army, which had lived upon the country, could no 
longer find supplies. 

Major Warre, who reached Beresford's head- 
quarters towards the end of May, found the Marshal 
rather failing in health after the stress of Badajos 
and two unsuccessful sieges, and the tremendous 
anxiety of Albuera. His first letter after his arrival 
is written on 20th June from St Olaia, about eight 
miles from Campo Mayor. With the exception of 
a reconnaissance in force by Soult, which had no 
important result, nothing of moment occurred, and 
during the hot months the armies on either side 
were comparatively quiescent. The Marshal, whose 
health was much impaired, spent the rest of the 
year at Lisbon and Cintra. Meanwhile, the organi- 
sation and improvement of the Portuguese army 
continued, notwithstanding the difficulties arising 
from the impecuniosity and incapacity of the 
Portuguese Government, of which frequent com- 
plaints recur in the letters. 


Portsmouth, May $tA, 181 1. 
My Dearest Father, 

Here we are still with very little 
progress in obtaining a passage, as both the Port 
Mahon and Spitfire are very much crowded. 
However, if the worst happens, I think Jack will 
be able to get a berth in the latter, and I will go in 
the Westmorland with my horses. But perhaps 
some new conveyance may start up, and while the 
wind continues in this quarter, (nor does it appear 
likely to change) we must wait patiently for what 
may occur, though it is really a trial of patience to 


be mewed up in this stupid place without exactly 
knowing what to do, or how we are to get away. 
Jack is a dear fellow, and a most agreeable com- 
panion, and I shall really feel very much annoyed 
if we are separated, though I certainly think it is 
best to go anyhow in the same convoy, and we can 
then unite again as soon as we arrive in Lisbon. 
As to how I go I do not much care. I am very 
well in health, though a little heated, and I do not 
see that it signifies much whether I take Epsom 
salts in a transport, or crowded in a Sloop of 
War's cabin, and God knows of late years I have 
been pretty well used to roughing it. We yesterday 
fed Capt. Digby, and Capt. Ellis of the Spitfire, 
who has been very civil to us both, but appears 
rather an odd one. He said he would try to get 
one or both of us (yesterday morning) with his 
Officers, but has not since mentioned the circum- 
stance, which makes me think that either he has 
not communicated with his ship from the badness 
of the weather, or that it is impossible to accom- 
modate us. To-morrow we dine with Capt. 
Bouverie of the Medusa, if the wind does not come 
about, and now you have all our plans. . . . 

Portsmouth, May yth, 1811. 

My Dearest Father, 

Many thanks for your very kind 
letters and for the enquiries you have made about 
my passage. My last will have informed you that 
we had given up all hopes of either the Spitfire 
or the Port Mahon, and from yours I have but 

182 PORTSMOUTH [1811 

slender hopes of the Romulus, and have therefore 
this morning desired my servant to purchase some 
stock, and have made enquiries about a transport 
that I may apply for an order, which Capt. Patton 
will give me. However, as the wind is still set in 
to the S.W. we may be here some days, and some- 
thing pleasanter may turn up. What I most regret 
in this arrangement is being separated from my 
friend Jack, whom I really cannot advise or approve 
of going in a transport at all. 

Capt. Patton knows nothing of the Braave, nor 
is she yet come round. Should Mr Sydenham 
certainly go, I would, if I was sure of a passage 
with him, wait, for we should be before the convoy 
at all events. I shall, however, go in a transport 
should I hear nothing further. I have seen Capt. 
Knox of the Fiorenzo, who left Lisbon the 27th. 
He brings no news whatever, but says the natives 
were in the highest spirits. I have not been able 
as yet to obtain a passage for Jack's horse in the 
Fleet, but as he has got the butcher's horse from 
Plymouth, I do not think it of any consequence 
whether he goes or not. . . . Walker and the 
horses are quite well. He has behaved very well, 
and I have therefore sent him some fresh stock on 
board, for which he is very grateful. My new 
groom also seems to be a good lad. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. W. 

My promotion will be in course, and we can do 
nothing further. As to . . . letter, it does not 
much signify what he wrote, com todos nada, 1 the 
best way is not to irritate the little worm, who 

1 With all nothing. 


will be vexed enough to find he has outwitted him- 
self, and will no doubt try his ingenuity in plaguing 
me whenever he has an opportunity. 

Portsmouth, May 9, 181 1. 

My Dear Father, 

I am much obliged to you for your 
letter of the 7th and for ensuring my horses' lives, 
as well risk of capture, etc., which, everything con- 
sidered, is as well, and I will direct great care to be 
taken of them, which I have done, at all events for 
my own sake, as money would be a very trifling 
compensation for what I could not replace. I have 
made every enquiry about the Braave Charter, 
but can hear nothing of her. Capt. Patton from 
her description says he thinks she must be a Navy 
store ship, and that they are out of his jurisdiction. 
I enquired about her at the Dockyard, but they 
also know nothing of her. I however ascertained 
that to go in her, if she is what I suppose, I must 
pay my passage, which would not be worth while, 
as I can have one for nothing in a regular transport. 
As, however, the wind continues still in the S.S.W. 
I shall take no further steps till the morning, in the 
hope of hearing something further from you about 
Mr Sydenham, as the Port Mahon, which is named 
and certainly waiting for a messenger, is so over- 
crowded already with Generals Hill and Campbell 
and their Staffs, that I can see no possibility of 
their stowing any more on board of so small a brig. 

I have not been able to hear anything about my 
shirts and servant's livery, though I have enquired 

184 ST OLAIA [1811 

everywhere here about them. At the Crown, 
where my mother says they were sent, they know 
nothing of them. It would be provoking to lose 
them as well as the bearskin, which Mr W. Turner 
says he knows nothing of. I would therefore be 
much obliged to you to desire Dunn to enquire at 
the place from whence they were sent, and to let me 
know by what conveyance, and when forwarded, 
also how directed. I am at the Fountain Inn. 

Jack is quite well and desires his kind love to all 
in George Street. We are, as you may suppose, not 
a little tired of Portsmouth, but as the weather is 
clearer now perhaps the wind may change, and 
then it will be most provoking to be separated, but 
my anxiety to get out increases, and I shall go 

Ever, my dear Father, Most affectionately yours, 

Wm. Warre. 

I have got Jack's horse on board in the West- 
morland With, my horses, and, as he will have thus 
two horses at Lisbon, think he is very right in taking 
out his groom with him. Adieu. 

Hd. Qrs., St Olaia, 
June 20, 181 1. 

My Dear Father, 
. . . I am very much obliged to Arbuthnot and to 
you for your trouble about my promotion, which, I 
suppose, is by this settled. I think your letter to 
Torrens a very proper one, and I myself wrote to 
him by last packet and to M'Mahon, which I 
thought right, and really felt a strong inclination to 


do, expressing my gratitude for all his and Mrs 
M'Mahon's kindness, which has been uniform and 
most obliging, but we must not press any business 
there for the present, though after all, what I have 
got, I must have had without any interest, except 

The Marshal is, I am happy to observe, some- 
what better, though he will require some time of 
quiet of body and mind to put him quite right 
again, and I really hope, if Marshal Soult leaves us 
alone for the present, as I think most likely, that 
the Marshal will go to Lisbon for a month or six 
weeks, and try sea-bathing and a change of air. 
But till the intentions of the enemy can be 
positively ascertained, I know he will not be 
persuaded to move to the rear. 

This movement of the army to the rear will, I 
hope, satisfy our newsmongers as to the propriety 
of raising the siege of Badajos. It was about just 
in time, or we should have had to fight a battle, 
perhaps against a very superior force, and under 
every disadvantage. It would have been a good 
thing to have taken the place, but we had a very 
limited period to do it in, much too much so for an 
attack en regie. It was worth attempting, and our 
failing only proves that the place required a more 
regular attack, for which it is evident we had lost 
time. It is now free again, and our Army has 
retired, leaving Elvas to its right, and now occupies 
this place, Campo Mayor, towards Portalegre, and 
Hill's and Cole's Divisions and the heavy Cavalry 
the woods round Torre de Mouro, about 4 miles, 
half-way between this and Campo Mayor, in which 
is the 1 st Dns. and some P. Cavalry, and the nth 

186 ST OLAIA [1811 

Lt. Dns. and 12 Hussars are at Elvas and near it, 
and give that outpost duty. 

We dined yesterday with Ld. Wellington at St 
Vincente, about J-way (5 miles) between this and 
Elvas, where he has a very pretty Quinta, and after 
dinner we rode to the Camp (4 miles) and Torre de 
Mouro, and nearly to Campo Mayor, to look over 
the positions (4 more), and we had then 8 to ride 
back to this, which is not a bad afternoon's ride, 
and it was very late when we got here. This is a 
little town, and we are pretty well off, notwithstand- 
ing its being a good deal crowded with 13th Lt. 
Dns. and General Castanhos' Hd. Qrs., who has now 
no army. He is a good-natured well-meaning man, 
but not remarkable either for talent or judgement. 
I do not think the enemy will advance immediately, 
though greatly superior to us in number. They 
must be as anxious as we can be to rest and refit, 
and can hardly have recovered their defeat at 
Albuera, though in numbers increased by the 
junction of Marmont and Drouet with their Corps, 
and he must first besiege and take Elvas, which, 
(though I have no very high opinion of either its 
Governor, or the principal part of its garrison, and 
know it to have very weak points,) would I hope at 
all events delay him some weeks. . . . 

The Portuguese Government are wretchedly off 
for money. Nothing whatever is paid for. The 
Officers have not had a farthing for four months, 
and when I sent for my pay, the answer was ndo 
ha dinheiro. Things cannot long go on so, and I 
fear all the Marshal's exertions hitherto will have 
been to no avail, and the country go completely to 
ruin in spite of him and all his zeal and activity, 


unless some remedy is applied to the horrid mis- 
management and almost torpid want of energy in 
the Government. We want for everything, and 
have not the means, or are we likely that I can see 
to have them, for the most trifling occurrences. I 
feel for the Marshal, to whom these disgusts are, I 
am sure, a great cause of his illness. 

No event has given me individually greater 
pleasure, or will be received by the army in general 
with more satisfaction than the appointment of the 
Duke of York, who, notwithstanding the malice of 
his enemies, and the mischievous revolutionary 
exertions of a set of low-bred soi-disant reformers, 
was a most excellent Commr. in Chief, and certainly 
brought the Army to a point of discipline and 
systematic order that claims from it its utmost 
gratitude. As to his private amours they are 
nothing to us, and most indecently brought forward 
by that set, who perhaps the least ought to have 
agitated it, from motives most unwarrantable, as we 
all know. Pray remember me most kindly to 
General Ferguson and Farrer, and to Ross, 
Campbell, my friend John Brown, of whom I rejoice 
to hear such good accounts, and to his brother. 
With kindest love to all, etc., etc. Ever, my dear 
Father, etc., Wm. W. 

We have a report of a brilliant victory by Sir C. 
Cotton in the Mediterranean against 9 sail and 
2 frigates of the enemy with 10,000 men for 
Catalonia from Toulon, but it requires confirma- 
tion. Don Jose desires to be remembered to you. 
Pray make my best respects to his Excellency the 

188 ST OLAIA [1811 

I hear from dear Jacko that he is quite well, amus- 
ing himself very pleasantly. The Marshal desires to 
be most kindly remembered to you ; pray do also say 
the same from me to his brother. 

St Olaia, June 27, 181 1. 

My Dearest, Kind Father, 

Though I have little to add to what 
I wrote to you, and my letters to dear Emily and 
my Uncle William contain all the no news I have to 
send, I will not delay thanking you for yours of the 

5th and 8th and for the newspapers We 

have been kept very alert lately by a reconnaisance 
Marshal Soult made on the 22nd on Campo Mayor, 
with 14 Squadrons, pushing at the same time 1000 
Cavalry and as many Infantry close up to Elvas. 
He saw nothing, but I am sorry to say we lost 
upwards of 100 men and horses, which is a very 
serious loss to us at present, mostly of the 10th and 
2nd German Hussars. It is attributed to some 
mismanagement in posting our Pickets (which I 
thought very apparent), and by no means the fault 
of the Officers commanding them. Poor Lutyens 
while retiring from a party which had crossed the 
Guadiana in his rear, most unfortunately mistook a 
French body of Cavalry for his own reserve, and 
did not find out his mistake till too late. He then, 
however, very gallantly attempted to fight his way 
through them, but was at last overpowered, losing 
5 or 7 killed and 20 wounded, and the remainder of 
40 taken with himself and another Officer. One 
Officer escaped wounded. We have not since seen 


anything of the enemy, and it is my opinion that 
they will not at present attack us, as some think, 
though it is very difficult to say what those fellows 
may risk, they are so presumptuous and insolent, 
though Albuera and the other beatings they have 
received, must have at least given them prudence 
and a better opinion of us, and I am unwilling to 
believe that, now that Badajos is relieved, and he 
can have no immediate object to gain, he will risk 
an action which if unsuccessful to him must have 
the most disastrous consequences, and perhaps 
decide the fate of the Peninsula, if he should have 
a war to divide his attention to the North. It is 
the largest army they have in Spain, and all they 
can collect from all parts of the South. 

It would appear to me the height of rashness to 
venture it at one cast against troops which have 
just beaten the two Corps of which it is composed, 
and without any positive advantage to gain, for 
they cannot yet be in a state to advance far into 
Portugal. I am well aware of the consequences 
which would attend a defeat of us, against their 
superior Cavalry and numbers, but I feel so 
confident that this is scarce possible from the state 
and high spirits of our brave troops, that I have 
not the least uneasiness about it, and I also am 
much pleased with our position, which, I think, 
though not strong by nature, will enable us to 
bring all our troops into play in the manner best 
suited to them, and for the use of the bayonet, 
which in the hands of a British soldier is always 
decisive. Nor are our brave Portuguese by any 
means unaware of its utility or backward in applying 
it with full vigour. The whole army are in the 

190 ST OLAIA [1811 

best spirits and most willing to give these boasting 
miscreants another dressing before we go into 
quarters, which are, however, very necessary. 

I think, when it is decided that the enemy do 
not mean to attack us, and that they retire from 
before us, that the Marshal will go to Lisbon, 
which I shall be most glad of for his sake, as I 
think he requires rest both of body and mind, 
though, thank God, he is much better than when I 
first arrived. I quite agree with all you say in his 
praise. He has indeed deserved all that can be 
said, and it has been truly gratifying to read the 
manner in which the thanks of the House were 
voted to him. He is of course much pleased and 
flattered by the approbation of his country, but he 
is as modest and diffident of what concerns himself 
as he is brave and clever in the field. We are on 
the very best terms, and I am as happy as I can 
be, notwithstanding the heat and turning out at 3 
a.m. and then riding all day. We sleep the better 
for it, and in this respect I am in great luxury, as 
I have a little camp bed of Count D'Alva's, with 
sheets, etc., etc., which I like so well, and so much 
better than my cloak and bearskin, since he went 
away, that I intend to buy a camp bed at Lisbon 
and always carry one in future. 

Pray have my newspaper, The Day, sent 
regularly every day ; it is a great comfort, and 
besides enables me to oblige a great many people. 
Though I sincerely rejoice when anything can be 
done for my cousins at Rugby, I am extremely 
sorry that anything should have been asked of Lord 
Mulgrave, however obligingly granted. I have 
good reasons for being decidedly against any 


application whatever being made to him on any 
account, and do intreat you that you will never 
allow any ; not knowing him, you can have no idea 
what harm it does, though a very worthy old man, 
and though we should call and shew him every 
respect which is his due. I did wish to be under 
no obligation, and am much vexed that anything 
should have been asked. It was my intention to 
have tried by another channel, to have had the boy 
admitted, but would not have consented to this. 
It is, however, now too late, and he has behaved very 
kindly, but for the future pray never think of such 
a thing. ...... 

[MS. torn, part wanting.] 
. . it must have handsome round Staff " tawsels " 
and ribbons at the sides, but must not be gold 
laced, as the new regulation is, Deos nos livre. I 
suppose our good chiefs do not think our Generals 
or Staff get killed off fast enough that they order 
them cocked hats with gold binding. It must only 
be meant for Wimbledon. There are no Voltigeurs 
there, and a gold laced cocked hat, though very 
ugly, is a very harmless thing — not here. 

Extract from Letters to his Sisters. 

July i, St. Olaia. 

We move to-morrow to Lisbon for a few weeks, 
which I am not sorry for, as the French are not 
likely to disturb us, and this place is horribly dull 
unless we had something to do. 

I daresay the whole army will go into Quarters 
during the hottest months. . . . 

192 LISBON [1811 

We are here four in a very small quarter, and 
not a pane of glass in the whole house, or a wooden 
floor, which we should not mind at all, if there was 
anything going on or likely, but the French are as 
glad, and as likely to be quiet, as we are for the 

I see I am gazetted as Major at last, and the 
Marshal has recommended me for the Portuguese 
Lt.-Colonelcy, as I am nearly the eldest Major in 
their Army, and several have gone over my head, 
to whom I am to be antedated. 

Lisbon, July 5, 181 1. 

I am quite well after my very tiresome journey 
with the Hd. Qrs. baggage, for the Marshal has 
been here these two days and left me to bring the 
Hd. Qrs. Staff. A pretty set to be bear leader to 
indeed ! 

Lisbon, August 2nd, 181 1. 

My Dearest Father, 

Nothing can give us greater pleasure than to 
see you in this country, and I assure you the 
Marshal will also be very happy to see you, and I 
think your presence may be useful in the north at 
Porto. I think this country for the present quite 
safe, and if Russia declares against France, or 
even continues her threatening posture, so as to 
occupy a large portion of his force in the north of 
Germany, things have never looked better in the 


Peninsula. If not, it is quite impossible to foretell 
the events of a Campaign, or what may happen 
from one moment to another, particularly if the 
Spaniards persist in not doing anything. It is a 
curious perverseness their dislike to a foreign com- 
mand, particularly where they confess they want 
it, in their armies, and their pride and vain-glory, 
which one would naturally expect would be the 
stimulus to anything, in order to avoid subjuga- 
tion, will probably be the real causes, with the 
ignorance and treason of their gentry, of their 
ultimate fall. 

As to a battle immediately I do not see the least 
chance of it. I think the army will shortly make 
some movement, but as yet I know nothing about 
it. I pay no attention, and wish you would not, to 
the nonsense of our wise politicians of London, who 
speculate mostly, either from very bad information, 
or as best suits their views. 

As to your informant about Ld. Wn. starving 
the South as well as the North of Portugal, I 
confess the speech savours as much of roguery 
as of ignorance, and I should have a very poor 
opinion of any Englishman who could make such 
an observation, unless he wishes purposely to dis- 
courage the people from continuing this glorious 
struggle for everything that is dear to man. He 
shews himself as ignorant of the country as of the 
means it offers for defence, and of the enemy's 
decided superiority in numbers, which can only be 
overcome by drawing him away from his resources, 
and weakening him before we can strike. 

In the action of Mina near Vittoria the French 
were completely beaten by his guerilla, which for 


194 LISBON [1811 

that sort of corps is more organised than usual, and 
consists of 4 Bns. and a Regt. of Cavalry, from 4 
to 5000 men. They make a good partisan corps, 
but have neither solidity nor system enough to be 
much better than a rather more disciplined and 
subordinate mob, as yet. 

The Galicians and Asturians, like the other 
parts of Spain, I do not think likely to do much 
at present. Their Government gives them no 
encouragement, and but little hope of any effectual 
support, and they, poor devils, have felt how 
inadequate they are alone to resist regular troops. 

The fall of Tarragona was a serious disaster, 
though expected, and may have a bad moral effect 
upon the mind of the populace, besides giving a 
handle to the ill disposed, which order of people I 
cannot say have increased in Spain, though I fear 
the indifferents, who are nearly as bad, certainly 
have. At the same time I have not a doubt that, 
where the people are not kept under by force, was 
there any fair prospect of success, or any disaster 
to happen to the French, the whole would rise 
against their oppressors, whom they detest — at least, 
I think, the whole of the lower orders. 

I am much obliged to you for the papers with 
the vote of thanks from the City to the Marshal. 
They were never better bestowed. He had never 
heard of them before. I am very glad Le Marchant 
is coming out, as I think it is what he wished, and 
I have no doubt that with his extensive theoretical 
knowledge, and the practice he formerly had, he 
will be a great acquisition to our Army. I hope my 
friend Johnstone will get leave to come out with 


I have heard of no disagreement amongst our 
Generals, or that the Marshal ever had any idea 
of going home. We are for the present very 
quietly settled, and most comfortably, at that lovely 
place Cintra, where we are likely to remain till some 
general movement takes place, and something to 
be done. The air agrees extremely well with the 
Marshal, who is very well. I never was so well for 
many years. It is very remarkable that the climate 
of Cintra is as different from Lisbon as London is. 
We have not had a day of heat, while here they 
have suffered very much. The fog morning and 
evening keeps us, with the number of trees, con- 
stantly cool. The rash I had continues, and has 
increased, but the Doctors tell me it is rather bene- 
ficial than otherwise, and desire me to do nothing 
to it. It gives me no inconvenience. They call it 
"Morphen," and most certainly, notwithstanding, 
my general health never was better. I came in 
yesterday on business and return to-morrow. The 
Marshal also. He is at Caxias, nr. St Julians, 
at the Admiral's. ... I have just heard that a 
Packet is coming in with a mail in 4 days from 
Falmouth, but have not heard that the bag is 
landed. . . . 

Wm. W. 

Cintra, August 17, 181 1. 

My Dear Father, 

I have not written to you by the last 
Packet, as I wrote to some of the family, and had 
really nothing in particular to communicate. We 
have been for the last four or five days in Lisbon, 

196 CINTRA [1811 

as the Marshal had a good deal to arrange with the 
Government, who, as usual with the people in power 
in this country, are the more impracticable in pro- 
portion as the danger is removed ; and foresight or 
a liberal policy is not to be expected from people 
who cannot carry their views beyond the present 
moment, and though quite impotent in affairs of 
State, and as ignorant as obstinate, are extremely 
jealous of the power entrusted to them. Scarce a 
plan or arrangement, even military, is proposed by 
the military chiefs, but becomes a subject of discus- 
sion, and if not rejected, mostly so delayed that the 
object is either lost, or rendered far less effective. 
It is most disgusting, and if they do not alter, it is 
quite impossible but the army must go to pieces in 
spite of even the exertions and firmness of the 
Marshal. The Brother 1 to your friend is the worst. 
Nothing can exceed his vanity and self-sufficiency 
except his ignorance. 2 

The Marshal is quite well. The coolness and 
fine air of this beautiful spot agrees wonderfully 
with him, and, if we remain a week, or a fortnight 
longer, I think he will have acquired so much 
bracing and strength, that he will be fully equal to 
a campaign, and after next month the heat is not 
very oppressive. 

Lord W. has invested Ciudad Rodrigo with his 
cavalry and light troops, but not quite closely. I 
hope we shall be more successful in this siege than 
our last, and have acquired a little more experience. 
The accounts we have of the number and state of 
the garrison are very favourable to us, and you 
know I have not a very great opinion of the strength 

1 Principal Sousa. 2 See Oman, iii., 193 ff. and 415 ff. 


of the place, but we have but very little experience 
in this sort of warfare. Hd. Qrs. are, I believe, at 
Fuentes Guinaldo. I hope the Marshal will have 
arranged his business and move up in time, as I do 
not expect we shall break ground for this some time. 

Jack is returned from his tour, with which he is 
much pleased, though it does not seem to have 
increased his military zeal. He saw some Divisions 
on the march, which has given him some idea of the 
miseries of even a summer campaign, and of the 
fatigue and inconvenience to which Regt. Officers 
and men are exposed. What would he think of one in 
winter ? I think it will do him a great deal of good. 
I wish a great many more of our English country 
gentlemen could see a little of real warfare, which 
they affect to discuss so freely. Jack is quite well, 
and both Lord Balgonie and he were, I believe, 
heartily glad to get back to Lisbon again. They had 
not time to get used to fleas, mosquitoes, and no beds. 

I am extremely anxious to hear when you 
determine upon coming to this country, though I 
fear it will not be before we leave this and Lisbon, 
as I was in great hopes you might have contrived. 
If you are to come, I think it is a pity you should 
put it off till much later in the year. But pray let 
me know, and what you wish me to do. Such as 
they are, I hope you will take my rooms at Cathariz, 
which I will have prepared for you, though I am 
afraid that, if we are out of town, a large empty 
house is not the most pleasant abode. I can make 
no arrangement for you till I know whether and 
when you come. It will be most provoking if we 
should have marched to the army, and therefore 
pray do not delay longer than indispensable. . . . 

198 CINTRA [1811 

The Marshal has sent the Brigadier Lemos his 
military secretary to the Rio de Janeiro on business. 
He will return almost immediately. As I think it 
not unlikely the Prince may send some honours by 
him to his officers, it may be a good opportunity to 
get Dr Ds. 1 to write directly to the Count de 
Linhares 2 about the Commandos. As to the other 
business we spoke of, from what I hear and know 
of things in this country the idea gives me far more 
pain than pleasure, and I hope it may never take 
place. You must be careful that Dr Ds. has not a 
hint of my extreme dislike to his brothers and their 
ministry. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

ClNTRA, August 23, l8l I. 

My Dear Father, 

I hope you will not delay your depar- 
ture for this country till much later in the year, and 
expect by next Packet some further information of 
your intentions on the subject. I should doubt 
your finding us here at all events, as I think it very 
likely we shall join the army again early next month, 
when the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo will be going on. 
At present our troops are all around it at a distance, 
in cantonments, quite quiet, though the place is 
invested, and for the present the enemy do not 
show any intention of disturbing us ; at least, I 
have heard of no movement on their part that 
indicates it. But I cannot think they will quietly 

1 Domingos Antonio de Sousa Contentro, afterwards Conde 
de Funchal. 

The eldest of the Brothers Sousa, Prime Minister at Rio Janeiro. 


allow us to take the place. It is to them well worth 
risking a battle for, if they intend ever to enter 
Portugal again. I cannot even guess whether 
Ld. Wn. will think it worth his while. At this 
distance I have but general and very imperfect in- 
formation of the army, and it is dangerous to venture 
upon conjectures on such a subject. 

The Spaniards continue to do nothing, at least 
on a great scale, and my hopes of any great effort 
on their part gradually diminish as the accounts 
arrive of reinforcements entering from France, 
though it is true in very inconsiderable numbers. 
We cannot make out that they yet exceed 9 to 
12,000 men, which is nothing for the Peninsula. I 
look to Russia with some anxiety, as much must 
depend upon her conduct in our future operations. 
Your opinion, I am sorry to observe, is not favour- 
able, though I think it evident there is some great 
misunderstanding or resistance to the Tyrant's will 
on the part of that Emperor, and, from the nature 
of the man, I should suppose he will not allow him 
to oppose him long with impunity. In the disordered 
state in which we understand the Russian finance to 
be, it is perhaps better, till she can make peace with 
the Turk, that she should hold her doubtful posture. 

I am surprised you have not received a letter I 
sent you with the Gazette containing my Portuguese 
promotion. For the present, at least, I am 
Lt.-Colonel. Except the rank, I have riot one 
advantage pecuniary or otherwise by my Brevet 
Majority, but I keep my Staff situation, and unless 
I should get an effective majority of Cavalry, it is 
as good a situation as I can have, and I have not 
the least inclination to quit that service. 

200 CINTRA [1811 

I am vexed that I have been able to get nothing 
done for Casey, who is well deserving his pro- 
motion. I have written several times to Brown, 
but have no answer, and I know, from my own 
situation, how very unpleasant it is to be importuned 
upon these subjects. Perhaps Greenwood could do 
something for him. The purchase money is, I 
believe, in Tom's hands. 

We have yet no account of the honours con- 
ferred by the P. R. of P. on the Marshals, and at 
any rate I do not think them equal to their deserts, 
and, unless their Pensions are better paid than 
usual in these cases, they will not be much the 
richer for them. 

I am glad that you have met the Douglas 
family. There cannot be a finer fellow or better 
Officer than he is, and more universally respected 
and beloved. He is a very great friend of mine. 
I saw him just before we left St Olaia. He was 
quite well. General Houston is gone home unwell. 
Campbell arrived the day before yesterday, and 
writes that he is quite well. 

We are in daily expectation of accounts of the 
poor King's death, but while I believe every one 
must regret the loss of such a Sovereign and such 
a man, considering his sufferings and the present 
state of the nation, I hardly think it can be a sub- 
ject of great sorrow to lose him, however much we 
loved and respected the royal and excellent qualities 
of such a King. 

Your accounts of the internal politics of the 
country are extremely interesting, but with you I 
think it is quite impossible to guess the Prince 
Regent's intentions, or what his conduct may be 


after the King's death, and we all naturally look 
with great anxiety to the first steps of his reign as 
a criterion to judge of what we are to expect. . . . 

Campbell is this moment arrived. I never saw 
him looking better. He was detained 5 weeks at 
Portsmouth and nearly a month on his passage. . . . 
Jack is also here quite well after his trip to Castello 
Branco, where he saw some Divisions marching, and 
the sight of their hardships, even in a peaceable 
move distant from the enemy, has not increased his 
military zeal. It does these English amateurs a 
vast deal of good to see a little how things are 
carried on, and what soldiers go through on service, 
though I think it quite folly for any person, whose 
duty does not demand it of him, to expose himself 
as many have, and been laughed at. For after all 
they but prove what nobody doubted, that they are 
not afraid of their flesh. . . . 

We continue to spend our time very pleasantly. 
The Marshal has a slight cold and lumbago, which 
will, I hope, soon pass away. He is otherwise very 
well. . . . 

Aug. 24 — The Marshal is much better to-day. 
He desires to be most kindly remembered to you. 
We have nothing new. The Duke of Leinster, 
Lords Clare and Delaware, are arrived in Lisbon, 
and going up to the army. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre., 

The Marshal is Count of Francozo, and Lord 
W. of Vimiero, but they have not yet the Regent's 
permission to accept the titles — which, being com- 
pared with Silveira, are not at all flattering to any 
person but him, and completely marred the P. 

202 CINTRA [1811 

Regent of P.'s intention of obliging them, for though 
nobody will deny Silveira considerable merit, it is 
folly to rank him with the other two. Nor has he 
ever done anything to deserve such a rank. Poor 
Bacelar, who commands him, was at least entitled 
to H. R. H. notice. 

C intra, Sept. 7, i8u. 

My Dear Father, 

I am much disappointed at not 
hearing from any of you the last two packets, 
though from my not having any letter at all, I 
must think it is owing to some mistake either 
at the Horse Guards, or at the Army Post Office, 
Lisbon. ... I hope this will find you preparing 
to give me the pleasure of seeing you in this 
country, as I should be extremely sorry, \i you 
intend to come at all, that you should delay it till 
much later in the year, and I had hoped you might 
come while we remain at this place or at Lisbon. 
The Marshal does not yet talk of moving, but I 
should guess we shall not remain longer than this 
month, as the business that called him to the 
Capital appears now to be nearly concluded. 

We continue to amuse ourselves very well, and 
certainly if we are to be quiet, could not be in 
pleasanter or better quarters. Jack is with us and 
very well, and, whenever the time comes, I shall 
part with him with great regret. I have met few 
better hearted or more sensible fellows, and he 
has made himself much liked and esteemed by the 
whole of our Staff. 


I do not think the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo is 
now likely to take place. The supineness of our 
Spanish neighbours would enable the enemy to 
collect a force much superior to us for its relief, 
without any risk to themselves, and Ld. Wn. would 
fight to a very great disadvantage encumbered 
with the stores and train necessary for a siege ; 
and, in case of disaster, the loss of them would be 
serious indeed. In the present demolished state of 
Almeida, that place could be of no assistance to him. 
Were it otherwise, the siege might be undertaken, 
as in case of their advancing in force to relieve it, 
he could in a few hours place it (the train) in com- 
parative safety, and in case of a defeat, it would 
enable him to cover his retreat, and get some part 
of it away. At present Almeida is rather a weight 
than otherwise to us. 

Marmont has moved up part of his Corps 
through the Puerto de Bafios, but I do not know that 
he has advanced himself, though it is not improb- 
able he may draw near our cantonments to observe 
Ld. W.'s motions. He is not strong enough to 
prevent his Lordship from undertaking the siege, if 
he wished it, but I rather suspect that the Corps 
which was collecting at Benevente, whatever its 
previous destination might have been, will also 
move to that quarter, in consequence of the advance 
of the allied army, and perhaps join with him,, for 
I can never suppose that the enemy will allow us 
to take that town, which is of such importance to 
them, if they ever intend to enter Portugal again, 
and which I cannot doubt they will ; and, for many 
reasons, nothwithstanding the happiness it would 
be to me to see you, I should recommend, unless 

204 CINTRA [1811 

your plans are fixed, and that you can come 
immediately, or that your presence is quite neces- 
sary, that you would delay it till the spring, for I 
think this winter will decide much as to the fate 
of the Peninsula, which, (this is quite entre nous) 
I fear, if great reinforcements arrive, and that 
Napoleon's attention is not otherwise diverted, the 
unaccountable folly of the Spanish Government, 
and the consequent apathy and acquiescence of 
the people, has again placed in the balance ; and it 
appears probable we shall have another active 
winter in this country again. 

The Spanish Government have received, I hear, 
within the last twelvemonths 18 millions of Dollars, 
of which latterly 5 millions ; and, notwithstanding, 
I do not hear that their rabble, called an army, is a 
bit better provided, or that any effectual step has 
been taken to organise them, or oppose more 
effectual resistance to their invaders. It is truly 
lamentable. It appears that Blake has been 
defeated at Grenada, and I believe it. It was to 
be expected, and will always happen where he 
commands, for I do not believe there was ever a 
worse General ; and these defeats completely destroy 
even the slight remains of confidence the naturally 
brave Spaniards had left. They will soon not fight 
at all, and I am sure it is not to be wondered at. 

Genl. Le Marchant has been here for a day or 
two, and has been quite delighted with the beauty 
of the place. He is quite well. We have had the 
Duke of Leinster and Lords Clare and Delaware 
and Mr Fitzgerald, who left us this morning. 
They are remarkably unaffected fine young men, 


and an excellent sample of our young Fidalgos. 
Ever yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

My Dearest Father, 

Lisbon, 17th Oct. 181 1. 

I am extremely anxious for the arrival of 
another Packet, which is due, to be able to form 
some idea of when I may expect you in this country, 
as I find you still continue your intention of giving 
us the happiness of a visit. 

Things are now quiet on the frontier, and I 
think may continue so for some time longer. 
Indeed I should not suppose anything will be now 
seriously undertaken by the Enemy till the 
spring. I therefore think the sooner you can come 
the better, and I certainly would not wait till the 
season is much further advanced, as what you say 
about the Wine Company is true, and nobody feels 
the tyranny and oppression of this monopolizing 
Body more than the inhabitants of this country 
themselves, you know. But with regard to the 
fulfilment of treaties with the English, no nation 
seems to think that necessary, and we are conse- 
quently always laughed at. John Bull is a noble 
beast, and has more good qualities than any other 
animal in the world, but en fait de politique he is 
generally a great gull. Witness Sicily, Portugal, 
Spain, Prussia, Russia, etc., etc., etc., etc. But, as 
I should not suppose your presence in London 
necessary to forward its execution, I think it 
would be a great advantage for you to be here on 

206 LISBON [1811 

the spot, and make your own arrangements, which 
so many others are doing before you. The name 
alone in the country would have weight, but it 
must not be allowed to be forgotten if you resolve 
ever to resume the business, as people will seek 
other channels for their business, and not be able 
to disengage themselves for you, even if they 
wished it. But, as you know all this much better 
than I do, I hope next mail to hear your decision 
on the subject. 

The Marshal, poor fellow, has been very 
unwell, and that has delayed us much longer here 
than we expected. We left the Prayas 4 days ago, 
as the air very much disagreed with him, and are at 
our old Head Quarters. He is more comfortable 
in his own house than anywhere else, and he 
requires in his present state every indulgence. I 
have been very anxious indeed about him, but he is 
now, thank God, much better, though still very 
weak, and it is therefore uncertain when we may be 
able to move as there is nothing likely to be doing 
for the present, and I am very anxious about it, as 
I think he is as well here as anywhere. His 
complaint is a low fever and great debility, which 
has been hanging about him for some months, and 
which, though it sometimes leaves him for a few 
days, has never given him time to gain strength ; 
and his constant employment and hard work of 
mind and body have also greatly retarded his 
getting well. I should much fear we shall be gone 
before your arrival notwithstanding, which I shall 
regret extremely, as it would have been a great 
comfort and happiness to have seen you while we 
are quietly settled. 


With regard to the honours to Officers I can 
tell you that Forjas l had nothing whatever to do 
with the List, or could he send any in without an 
order from the Regency, who are alone to blame. 
Much has been said upon the subject, and it seems 
very extraordinary that they should ever have 
thought of conferring Military Honours, without 
reference to the Commander in Chief of their army, 
who most certainly is the best judge of who deserves 
them. But these, like most other things in this 
country, are ruled by meanness, jealousy, and 
intrigue, nor can we expect any good and ener- 
getical measures while the Principal and Patriarch, 
ignorant, bigoted, and presumptuous, and mean 
enough to have recourse to any dirtiness to attain 
their ends, are in the Regency, and Count Linhares 
in the Ministry, for he backs his ignorant meddling 
brother through everything, even in spite of the 
opinions of the other members. Forjas is often 
blamed, and most undeservedly so. I do believe 
him to be a very honorable and well-intentioned 
man, and certainly a man of good abilities, and no 
intrigue and meanness has been neglected to ruin 
him in Brazil. The P — h hates him, and would 
willingly, if he dare, replace him by any of his 
creatures, whom he tries to force into every 
situation. Quite entre nous there never was a more 
mischievous little animal, or a more treacherous one. 
And pray be very careful in any opinions you give 
to Dn. — Ds. that he may suppose from me. He is 
of the same party and may do a great deal of harm. 
For they at present rather suppose I never trouble 
my head about them. 

1 General Miguel Forjaz. See Oman, iii., 418. 

208 LISBON [1811 

As to my own Honours, I shall be proud of any 
military ones, when they come, if conformable to my 
rank. But I put no trust in promises, and quite 
think with you that your friend knows nothing of 
the matter. But his strong recommendation to 
that quarter must have considerable weight. I feel 
an unconquerable aversion to soliciting any honours, 
and would not for the world appear to have given 
any opinion on the subject. 

With regard to the representation he made of the 
poverty of this Government, I do not believe it to 
the extent he says, though they are certainly 
distrest, and must be, while there is so much mis- 
management, and so many useless hangers-on to be 
satisfied. As to a Loan, I quite agree with you, that 
they must be honest, or, what is not an easy under- 
taking at present, they must persuade the lenders 
that they are honest, in their intentions at least. 

I should be glad to hear that the Princess 
Charlotta really again got into power. She is at 
least energetical, and the changes you fear are most 
desirable from their consequent changes here. 

We have no news from the army except an 
account of Don Julian Sanchez and his guerrilla 
having taken the General, Governor of Ciudad 
Rodrigo, Regnioux, while taking his promenade 
outside the town, and most of the cattle belonging 
to the garrison. I do not know the particulars, but 
it appears to have been a neat business enough. 
We all miss dear Jack very much. 

Remember me to General Leith, should you see 
him. I have a great regard for him. He is 
generally much esteemed. I am not likely to see 


Douglas for some time. When I do I will give him 
your message. Hardinge desires me to thank you 
most kindly for undertaking his commission of 
seals. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

Lisbon, Nov. iyd, 1811. 
My Dearest Father, 

After a very long delay I was at 
length made very happy by your most kind letter 
from Cowes. 

I quite agree with you about the infamous Wine 
Company at Porto, but I think that it cannot stand 
long, even supposing we are such dupes as to allow the 
P. Government to infringe so directly on the Treaty. 
It is a grievous oppression on the farmer, and so 
generally disliked, that I much doubt, when the 
terror of French dominion is removed, they will 
submit either to this or many other oppressions. 
O Povo esta mto. desabusado, e seria mto. melhor 
conceder ehe algums destes privilegios, que em nada 
contribuem para bem do estado, mas mto. para 
bem de hums poucos de individuos, b menos penso que 
que contribue nao so/re odio de huma tao sega 

I therefore hope to have the happiness of giving 
you an abrago early in the spring, and am not sorry 

1 The lower classes are greatly undeceived, and it would be much 
better to concede to them some of these privileges, which in no way 
contribute to the welfare of the State, but much to the benefit of some 
few individuals. At least I think that he who takes this course will 
not incur the odium of such a blind policy. 


210 LISBON [1811 

you did not come out at this advanced period of 
the year, when you would have found very great 
difficulty in travelling in a country desolate and 
almost depopulated, in bad weather, and as I could 
not foresee that our excellent Marshal would fall 
ill again, I had given up all hopes of meeting you 
in Lisbon, at all events. We were to have moved 
to-day, but H. E. has been very unwell, and though 
now, thank God, much better, our departure cannot 
take place till the beginning of next month. He 
has great confidence in the good effects of a change 
of air and travelling. I confess I rather dread the 
effects of any fatigue or cold for him after what 
happened lately, when a not very long ride quite 
threw him back. If good wishes, not only from 
his own family, but from all ranks of the people 
could avail, he would have been long since well, and 
it is, and must at all events be, a pleasant reflection 
to him in illness to see how universally he is 
regretted, and the fears his illness has raised 
amongst almost the whole nation. 

I have not a word of public news to send you. 
The Prince d'Aremberg, Colonel of the 27th 
Chasseurs a Cheval, and married to the Empress 
Josephine's niece, is arrived here, and 1400 
prisoners taken at Arroio del Molino by Hill. He 
is an insignificant looking creature, and not reckoned 
a great Officer. Genl. Bron is not yet arrived. I 
have dined with the Lt.-Col. of their 40th Regt. 
He is a fine intelligent young man, but quite a 
Frenchman. He lies without the least hesitation. 
He half cries at times at his misfortune, but, when 
he has drank a little wine, sings and dances, and 
seems to forget entirely that he is a Prisoner. I 


am going this morning to take the Lt.-Col. of 34th 
F.A. to make some purchases he wants, and then 
to dine at Hardinge's. I think him steadier a 
good deal than the other, who is a most amusing 
companion, and less of a soldier. This man is 
reserved, but I know what he says is true, and 
therefore we intend to try what the bon vin de 
Bordeaux will do towards opening his heart, 1 for we 
often get very interesting information in this way, 
and, though I hate and despise the fellows, I am 
rather amused by them now and then. 

I think we are likely to remain quiet at Villa 
Formosa beyond the Coa, where we fix our Hd. 
Qrs. It was entirely destroyed by the French, but 
we have had doors and window-shutters put to 
some of the Houses. But I expect we shall passar 
mtos. frios y and I dread it for the Marshal. I do 
not think the French will make any movement till 
Ciudad Rodrigo is again distressed for provisions, 
and then they will probably throw some convoy in 
which I do not know how we are to prevent, when 
the Agueda is full and not fordable, unless by a 
general action beyond it, and that is most unlikely, 
and I therefore do not myself expect that anything 
more than outpost business perhaps will be done 
before the spring. The enemy have certainly 
received great reinforcements during the course of 
the year, but even these (say 40,000 men), have 
not covered the casualties and losses of men in 
their armies, which are evidently much reduced. 
I have no reason to alter my opinion about the 
Spaniards. You know what it is, and I do not 
expect more from them than I did, and, if Russia 

1 Cf. Maxwell's Life of the Duke of Wellington, vol. i., p. 357. 

212 LISBON [1811 

does not in the spring declare against Napoleon, 
the fate of the Peninsula is in my opinion still very 

As you do not mention anything further in 
your letters about my business which you said Dr. 
Domingos wished to be perfectly secret, I hope it 
is given up entirely, and if not, that you will not 
press it. It would throw me out of the line of my 
profession, and place me in a situation I do not 
think I should be fit for, or can like. You however, 
my dear Father, know my situation, and I never 
willingly have or will act contrary to your opinion 
or wishes. 

A Packet is coming in, but I fear we shall not 
have the letters before the mail for England closes. 
Yrs., etc., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

Lisbon, Nov. 30, 181 1. 

My Dearest Father, 

I quite agree with you on the subject of the 
Wine Company, and do hope we will behave on this 
occasion with more energy. I hate half measures, 
and no man in his senses can, I should think, 
doubt of the ultimate advantage to the Country by 
doing away with this odious and oppressive mono- 
poly, which is only persevered in from the narrow 
views and interested politicks of a few individuals, 
aided by a little ready money advanced now and 
then to the Government. 

Hardinge desires me to thank you in the kindest 
manner for the seals, and to be also remembered 
to you. 


You really give me credit for more reserve in 
my letters than I deserve, for I really know nothing, 
and think we are likely to be quiet for some time. 
The Marshal is, I am happy to say, very much 
better, though still pale and thin. He is very 
anxious to move, and I know we shall set out as 
soon as he prudently can. I suppose in about a 
week or ten days. . . . Yrs., etc., 

Wm. W. 

Extract from Letters to his Sisters. 

Lisbon, Dec. 6, 1811. 
The Marshal was to have left this 
for the Army a week ago, and it was his intention 
to go on Sunday, the day after to-morrow, but a 
fresh cold will, however, I perceive, detain him 
some days. He is still very weak and liable to 
catch cold at the least exposure, which makes me 
feel quite a horror of his attempting to move at 
this time of year. But he is very anxious to join 
the army, and go I see we shall the moment he is 
able to move. We go to Abrantes first, then 
Thomar and Coimbra, to inspect the different 
Depots of the recruits, and from thence to the Army, 
to Villa Formoza on the Coa, where we fix our Hd. 
Qrs. for I daresay the winter. As I see not the 
slightest prospect of anything being done, the 
Marshal's health causes my principal anxiety. 
His loss, or suspension for any time from his duty, 
would be a very serious misfortune for this Country. 
Everybody feels it and laments his indisposition. 
It is to-day very cold, so much so that, as we are 

214 LISBON [1811 

not blessed with fireplaces in this country, and have 
the plague of many doors and windows, all of which 
require caulking, I can hardly write — and notwith- 
standing he will go to a review of the Commercial 
Volunteer Regiment, composed of merchants and 
gentlemen of Lisbon, who have done all the duties 
for two years in the town with the greatest zeal 
and regularity. They are magnificently appointed 
at their own expense, Cavalry and Infantry, and 
upwards of 1300 strong. I wish they were 10 
leagues off, that the Marshal might not risk a 
worse cold to pay them a compliment. 

We had a most ridiculous hoax here on the 2nd, 
which put all Lisbon in a ferment. An English 
Officer gave out, and hand bills were spread all over 
the town, that for a wager of ^500 he was to walk 
across the Tagus, from Belem to the opposite bank, 
in a pair of Cork Boots of wonderful construction. 
The joke took most completely. Everybody 
was anxious to see this wonderful performance, 
which was to take place at one o'clock, and even 
the day before every Chaise, Mule, Horse, Donkey, 
Boat or Barge, was in requisition, and great prices 
paid. At an early hour on the 2nd, the beach near 
Belem was thronged, " grandees'' and "little dees," 
great and small, men, women, and children, of all 
nations and professions, continued to pour in. The 
day was very fine and the Coup d'oeil most beautiful. 
The river was crowded almost near if mile with 
vessels of every description, and the beach and 
streets with carriages, equestrians, and pedestrians. 
At the appointed hour a report was spread that the 
man could not pass till four on account of the tide, 
and the Mobility and the Nobility waited in anxious 


expectation, though many began to suspect the 
Humbug and plenty retired. I had accidentally got a 
hint of its being a hoax the day before, and therefore 
only rode down in the afternoon, and a more laugh- 
able or absurd scene I never beheld. The people 
began to be undeceived, some laughed, some were 
angry, and meeting in their retreat those who 
undeceived by the way, went only to laugh at the 
others, and rallying them most unmercifully made 
them ten times worse. The Portuguese consoled 
themselves with the idea that the English were as 
great fools as themselves. Thinks I to myself, they 
always are on the subject of wonders. I rode 
quietly along the pavement and was exceedingly 
amused with the observations of the people. I 
laughed so much that I was hardly able to sit on 
my horse, and got a little abuse in consequence 
which I was prepared to answer and laugh at. A 
great many of my friends were there. To these I 
bowed respectfully with a malicious smile, and, 
"how did you like the man with the boots?" 
Many ladies and gentlemen in order to have a 
better view took possession of the Tower at low 
water, and were so intent upon the beautiful scene on 
the River, that they quite forgot that the tide would 
shut them in, and were obliged to be at the expense 
of Boat hire to take them back to their carriages. 
Others availed themselves of men's backs, horses, 
and any conveyance according to their finances, the 
water being only a few feet deep, but it was really a 
most ridiculous sight. Nothing is talked of now in 
Lisbon but the man with Cork Boots, and it has 
given rise to the drollest reports and lies. Some 
even swear they saw him, and describe his figure, 

216 LISBON [1811 

dress, etc. Thinks I to myself, " What a . . . " 
Others say he attempted it and failed. Others 
that his boots sprung a leak and required caulking. 
Thinks I to myself, " They all 1. . . ." and that is likely, 
for they have wickedly that vice in this country. 
. . . We do not move on Sunday, or for some days, 
as the Marshal has again caught a bad cold and is 
unwell. . . . 

Poor Walter has misbehaved, and I have sent 
him home to his Regt. He is a poor devil. His 
misfortune is to be a great fool. 

Lisbon, Dec. 14, 181 1. 
My Dearest Mother, 

The Marshal is much better and 
again talks of leaving Lisbon next Wednesday 
morning. I hope he will not again relapse, but 
even if he continues to mend, I am not quite easy 
about the journey for him at this time of year, and 
as there is absolutely no prospect of anything being 
done at present in the way of operations, both 
armies appearing to have gone very quietly into 
Winter quarters, I think him very imprudent in 
venturing, but perhaps the change of air may do 
him great good. 

We go first to Abrantes, Thomar, and Coimbra. 
I told you I should write a stupid letter, and John 
Brown is putting all my rhapsodies to flight by his 
noise. He desires his love to E.'s poodle, and to be 
remembered to the rest of the family. We are 
going at 3 o'clock to a grand funeral of Brigadier- 


General Coleman, who died of fever after suffering a 
great deal. He is to be buried with military honours. 
No man ever died more generally or deservedly 
lamented, and, what is more than anything distress- 
ing, is that he leaves his poor father and mother 
and sisters, who depended on him for support, in 
rather painful circumstances. His poor old father 
resigned the office of Sergeant-at-Arms to him 
moyennant a pension, which he loses with his son. 
I am very sorry for him : what a pity he left the 
House of Commons to come here at all ! . . . 

I hope the Company at Porto's business may be 
settled to my father's satisfaction, but that he will 
not come out till the spring, for it is almost 
impossible to travel in this desolated country in 
winter. Yrs., etc., etc., 

Wm. W. 




During the last three months of the year 1811, 
Wellington had been secretly preparing for the 
siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. Almeida was put into 
a state of defence, and artillery and siege material 
and stores of all kinds accumulated in that fortress. 
Meanwhile General Hill to the south by his move- 
ments seemed to threaten Badajos, and kept the 
enemy in expectation of a third attack in that 

On the 1 st of January 181 2, Wellington, with 
35,000 men, moved suddenly upon Ciudad Rodrigo, 
which was held by the French with a garrison of 
nearly 2000 men. On the 8th the redoubt on the 
great Teson was taken by the 52nd Regiment, and 
on the 19th, two practicable breaches having been 
made, the assault was ordered, and the town taken 
by storm — not, however, without loss of men and 
Officers, among whom fell Robert Crawfurd, the 
famous leader of the Light Division. 

After securing Ciudad Rodrigo, Wellington lost 
no time in preparing for the attack on Badajos, 
which he was determined to take at all cost. A 
glance at the map shows how with Ciudad Rodrigo 
and Badajos in the hands of the French, Portugal 



could not be in any way secure. Before any step 
could be taken to threaten Madrid, or the northern 
line of French communications, it was absolutely 
necessary that both these fortresses should be in 
the hands of the Allies. 

Marshal Beresford, who was now in much better 
health, reached Elvas on the 6th of March. Within 
ten days of that date, he had crossed the Guadiana 
with 15,000 men, and, covered to the east and 
south-east by the forces under General Hill and 
General Graham respectively, invested Badajos. 

The events of the siege, and the taking of 
Badajos, are described in the letters, which also are 
not silent concerning the horrors that followed the 
assault and capture of the town. 

After this success, for which a terrible price had 
been paid in the loss of nearly 5000 Officers and 
men killed and wounded, no rest was allowed or 
indeed possible for the Allies. To the south was 
Soult with nearly 25,000 men, whose advance, how- 
ever, upon hearing of the fall of Badajos, was 
checked, and his attention diverted from the allied 
army, by the movements of Spanish forces in 
Andalusia and the necessity of saving Seville. To 
the east was King Joseph with 20,000 men pro- 
tecting Madrid, from whom, however, there was not 
for the moment much to fear. But to the north 
was Marmont with nearly 70,000 men threatening 
Ciudad Rodrigo. As usual, the movements of the 
French armies were hampered by the impossibility 
of finding subsistence in regions already desolated 
and exhausted by warfare ; while combination 
between them became increasingly difficult, owing to 
the jealousies and dissensions which reigned among 
their chiefs. The Emperor himself was now 
far away, and fully occupied with his designs upon 

Upon hearing that Marmont was moving west- 


wards, Wellington hastened from Badajos by forced 
marches to the north, securing his right flank by 
the destruction of the bridge over the Tagus at 
Almaraz, which was effected by General Hill on the 
18th of May. 

It was now the turn of the Allies to take the 
offensive in the field, and Wellington determined 
to attack the so-called army of Portugal under 
Marmont, whose forces, however, were at the time 
greater than he supposed. 

Accordingly, on the 13th of June, the allied army 
entered Castile, with Salamanca as its objective. 

Marshal Marmont, who was expecting reinforce- 
ments, retired before the Allies, and on the 16th of 
June evacuated Salamanca, leaving, however, some 
forts, the guns of which commanded the bridge over 
the Tormes, garrisoned by about 800 men. As the 
letters show, the strength of these forts was much 
underrated by the Allies, and they were a cause 
of considerable annoyance. Their reduction was 
not effected till the 27th of June. 

After this Marmont retired behind the Douro, 
across which he desired to draw Wellington. The 
manoeuvres which followed are difficult to describe, 
or indeed to understand. The armies marched and 
countermarched, till at last by a skilful manoeuvre 
Marmont was able to throw his force across the 
Tormes and to threaten Wellington's line of retreat 
upon Ciudad Rodrigo. This attempt culminated on 
the afternoon of 22nd July in the battle of Salamanca. 
At the moment when Marmont pushed forward 
his left under Thomieres to gain the high ground, 
which would enable him to command the road lead- 
ing to the south-west through Miranda, Wellington, 
detecting his mistake, launched his attack on the 
French army. The battle, which is graphically 
described in the letters, resulted in the total defeat 
of the French, with the loss of guns and Eagles, and 


Colours, and many Generals. Marmont himself 
was badly wounded, and lost 6000 men killed and 
wounded, besides 7000 prisoners. 

Nor was the loss of the Allies other than severe. 
General le Marchant was killed, and five Generals, 
including Beresford, wounded, while the death-roll 
included 41 Officers and 658 men, and the other 
casualties amounted to 253 Officers and 4273 men 
wounded or missing. 

When his Marshal was wounded, his A.D.C. 
remained and carried him off the field, and with 
some difficulty conveyed him to Salamanca, where 
he nursed him through his illness, and accompanied 
him when convalescent to Lisbon. 

With the battle of Salamanca the letters come 
to a conclusion. Major Warre returned to 
England, and, having received a Staff appointment 
at the Cape, proceeded thither in 181 3. 


Torres Novas, /any. 4, 1812. 
My Dear Father, 

We are at length clear of Lisbon, 
and thus far on our journey to the Army. We 
were to have gone to Abrantes, but the heavy rain 
has prevented us, and we must therefore make the 
best of our very indifferent quarters, which are 
perhaps better than we shall often have, and at 
least the Marshal has a fire in his room. Re is 
much better, and, so long as he is comfortable, we 
cannot mind how we A.D.C.'s are off. We are 
pretty well used to rough it, and must expect here- 
after seldom to meet with even such quarters as 
these. I am very well in health. 

222 COIMBRA [1812 

CoiMBRA, loth Jany. % 1812. 

Dearest Mother, 

We arrived here the day before 
yesterday after a tolerably pleasant journey, though 
we had a good deal of rain the first days. Latterly 
the weather though very cold has been very fine. 
And, as we came by the route by which the enemy 
retreated last year, and the Marshal was very com- 
municative and pointed everything out to us, it was 
extremely interesting. But it was impossible to 
pass through a country so completely devastated 
without feelings of horror and pity for suffering 
humanity. Nothing can exceed the wanton cruelty 
and barbarity of those wretches. We passed many 
formerly fine towns nearly entirely burnt or 
destroyed, and scarcely saw a house or village but 
shewed evident proofs of their barbarous wanton 
cruelty and destruction. It is quite impossible to 
give people in England an adequate idea of the 
sufferings of these unhappy people. We even at 
this period saw many people and children absolutely 
starving and living upon nettles and herbs they 
gathered in the fields. 

We leave this the day, and are to go by the 
route the French turned our position at Busaco, 
before, last year, which with the Marshal will be 
highly interesting. The siege of Ciudad Rodrigo 
is determined upon and will begin about this time. 
It will be a very instructive lesson to us, and will, I 
hope, be managed better than that of Badajos. We 
want experience in these matters, and I am very 


glad we shall have something to do. If we can 
succeed in making the French assemble their army 
at this season and distressed as they are for provi- 
sions and transport, we shall gain a great point, as 
we shall draw them off from the Asturias, Aragon, 
the neighbourhood of Madrid, and Estremadura, 
which will be a great diversion in favour of the 
Spaniards, and as the loss to the enemy must be 
very great, even if we are obliged to retreat, and to 
raise the siege, we shall have gained a great deal, 
and if they let us take the place, which I do not 
expect, the advantage is evident, as it secures that 
frontier and gives us an entrance into Castile. 
According as they collect a greater or less number 
we shall fight them, I suppose, or not, and in my 
humble opinion the whole of this movement is 
highly judicious, as well as Hill's advance into 
Estremadura, which will draw off, I trust, Soult's 
attention from Ballasteros. 

We are all quite well, and I think the journey 
has done the Marshal good, as he is in high spirits. 
The fine weather seems likely to continue, and that 
we shall join the army without any more wettings, 
which, though they have done us no harm, are not 
pleasant, as the weather is very cold. 

Wm. W. 

Gallegos, Jany. 20, 1812. 

My Dearest Father, 

I have only just time to tell you that 
Ciudad Rodrigo is ours. It was taken by storm 
yesterday evening at 7 o'clock. The Batteries 

224 GALLEGOS [1812 

had been firing away from 30 24-pounders since the 
morning of the 14th, and before yesterday evening 
two breaches, one a very extensive one, and a 
lesser, were deemed practicable, and the 3rd 
(Picton's) and the Light Divn. (Crawfurd's) were 
ordered to storm, supported by an attack on the 
opposite side of the town from Pack's Portuguese 
Brigade, who were to escalade the wall and take 
the enemy in the rear. They were quite prepared, 
but nothing could resist the ardour and impetuosity 
of our Troops, and in 20 minutes after the storm 
began they were in full possession of the town, and 
in less than J of an hour Lord Wn. and the 
Marshal were in it in perfect safety from the 
enemy's resistance. Indeed no part of their Staff 
were much exposed during the whole time, and 
we are all safe and perfectly well. The Regts. 
employed were the 52nd, 45th, 74th, 88th, 43rd, 
95th, and some more British, which I cannot now 
recollect, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Cacadores, and 
1 6th and 1st Portuguese Infantry. 

Our loss in men has been less than we could 
possibly have expected, had the garrison made a 
more vigorous resistance, but the proportion of 
Officers has been very great. Poor Genl. M'Minnon 
was killed by the blowing up of a magazine, 
which killed a great many of our men, and young 
Beresford of the 88th, the Marshal's nephew, is 
wounded by it, but not dangerously. General 
Crawfurd is wounded, I fear, very badly. General 
Vandeleur not dangerously, Col. Colborne (52nd) 
severely, and poor George Napier (52nd), who 
commanded their storming party, and has been 
wounded in every action, has lost an arm, but is 


doing very well. Pray send word to Mrs Gibbs 
that Gibbs is quite well. Dobbs, poor fellow, is 
killed. Ewart, young Dawson, and Royds are 
quite well. Pray send word to their friends. I am 
so much hurried and fagged I can hardly write, 
but I do not wish Major Gordon to go without 
writing a few lines. I remained in Ciudad Rodrigo 
last night, and it would have been impossible even 
for me to form an idea of the horrors and misery 
of a town taken by storm. It was on fire in several 
places. It was quite impossible to prevent its 
being plundered. It was quite dreadful, and the 
scene which presented itself this morning on the 
breaches, and the streets, beyond my pen to 
describe. Another magazine blew up to-day and 
destroyed about 50 of the prisoners and a few of 
our men. 

It is quite out of my power to do justice to the 
heroism and gallantry of our troops both British 
and Portuguese. It is not easy to express my 
admiration. They seemed to surpass their wonted 
bravery and intrepid contempt of danger. Nor can 
I describe the awful feelings of suspense and 
anxiety before or during the storm. There cannot 
be a grander or more impressive sight, and I had 
full time to experience the fulness of these feelings 
as I was little exposed, or was there indeed time for 
any danger except to the storming parties, as they 
drove everything before them, and we scarce 
thought the business begun when the Hurrahs 
announced their glorious and well-earned victory. 
The whole siege has been a most interesting and 
grand sight ; and even the French Prisoners this 
morning cannot help expressing their admiration of 


226 ELVAS [1812 

the gallantry of our artillery and troops. The 
88th and 45th have suffered most. 

Pack's Portuguese had escaladed the walls, and 
were in the Town, when they heard the Hurrahs 
of the others. There never was a better planned 
enterprize or more completely successful. Marmont 
and Dorsenne were collecting to relieve the place, 
and would arrive 3 days hence, but it is impossible 
to guess what they will do, now that the place is 
taken. They cannot be equal to us, and I do not 
expect they will attempt to disturb us. If they do, 
I am sure they will repent it. I have not a doubt 
of the result. 

I am perfectly well, though much harassed and 
tired, but a night's rest will set that to rights. I 
will certainly write again by packet. Yrs., etc. 

Wm. W. 

I am so bewildered yet that I cannot collect my 
ideas. Do not therefore pray shew my letter, and 
excuse such an incoherent scrawl. 

Extracts from Letters to Sisters. 

Elvas, March 6, 18 12. 

I avail myself of the departure of an extra 
courier for Lisbon to thank you for your letter. . . . 
We arrived here about an hour ago, all quite well, 
and think we shall remain for some time, or till the 
siege of Badajos is over. We came by Villa 
Vi^osa and visited the Palace of the P. R. which is 
without doors or windows, which the soldiers of all 
parties have gradually burnt. It is a pity, as in 


one room there are really some fine pictures, painted 
on the ceiling, of the Dukes of Braganza, which will 
be quite spoiled. The Park is very handsome in 
their way. We should call it rather a forest, and 
there are a great many deer, which looked very 
pretty, but the wild boars, being of a more contem- 
plative, solitary turn, kept themselves concealed, for 
which want of respect one is ordered to be shot for 
our table. He had better have made his appearance 
at once, and had the honor of being shot by a 
Marshal or A.D.C. The weather is very fine and 
dry, but rather too warm. We have been since the 
2nd coming, and had a tolerably pleasant journey, 
being received everywhere with the greatest Honors, 
bells ringing, Guards of Honor, illuminations, etc., 
and never exceeding 5 leagues a day, except the 
first, so that we were never fatigued, or our horses, 
and had plenty of time to look about us, and make 
our observations, and, being with the Marshal, we 
are at least sure of always having plenty to eat. If 
I could be in good spirits, I should have perhaps 
enjoyed this mode of travelling through a country 
in state very much. As it is, it was rather a bore, 
and I am glad we are likely to be quiet for a short 
time anywhere, though a large fortified city full of 
troops is not exactly the place I should have chosen. 
The beautiful Quinta we had here last year is 
pulled down, house and all, when the suburbs were 
destroyed for being too near the body of the place, 
which is now very much improved and strengthened 
by some very fine new works in front of the town, 
and which makes it highly respectable, but I could 
not look at the remains of our beautiful shady walks 
and fountains without great regret. 

228 ELVAS [1812 

Ld. Wn. will not, I believe, arrive for a day or 
two. The Army are on their march, but will not 
arrive to assemble on this frontier till the ioth or 
1 2 th, when I suppose poor old Badajos will be 
serenaded again. If we succeed as well as we did 
at Ciudad Rodrigo, we shall do well enough, but a 
protracted siege is to me the most tiresome thing in 
the world, and two have quite satisfied my curiosity 
as far as that goes. 

John Campbell is here, very well, but quite 
disfigured by having his face all covered with his 
mustachios and whiskers. He is full Colonel in the 
P. service, and desires to be most kindly remem- 
bered to you all. He is a very excellent fellow. I 
wrote yesterday a very hasty scrawl, and thought I 
should not have any time to write any more as the 
courier went off, but to-day Mr Stuart the Envoy, 
who is here, is sending off one express, and I will 
therefore not omit to tell you I am in health 
quite well. 

I have just got a note from young Cowell of the 
Guards, who wants me to obtain leave for him to 
shoot deer, etc., in the Prince's Park at Villa Vi£osa, 
a pretty modest request, which I am sorry I cannot 
comply with, as I cannot obtain leave even for 

The style and writing of my letter will shew you 
the bustle and hurry I am writing in. Every Officer 
in the Garrison, and all the Authorities, Civil and 
Military, have been here to be presented and make 
their bows, I suppose some hundreds, which, added 
to a long ride in a hot day, has condensed my powers 
of composition and made me stupider than usual. 


ELVAS, March 18, 1812. 

My Dear Father, 

I did not receive your long and kind 
letter of the 10th Feby. till the 16th inst., the same 
day on which I received yours of the 8th of March. 
I have intended thanking you for both for the last 
two days, but, as the investment of Badajos was 
begun on the 16th and completed yesterday, I had 
not a moment's time, having been almost constantly 
on horseback. I could wish to have written you a 
long letter, but I find that at present it is impos- 
sible, for though I have remained at home to-day on 
purpose, I am a good deal fagged and hurried. . . . 

I am very much obliged to you for your most 
interesting ideas and communications on the politics 
of the day with you. They are to me most interest- 
ing, and I am happy to think that generally on 
these subjects our sentiments are exactly the same. 
But I have not now time to enter on the subject. 
I regret Lord Wellesley's going out, as I have a 
very high opinion of his talents, and am quite con- 
vinced that the surest means of keeping the war 
ultimately from our own shores, is to persecute it 
vigorously on the Peninsula, where everything has 
hitherto been as successful as brilliant both to our 
interests and national glory. And I fear by his 
removal from office these exertions may be relaxed, 
and our brave General not seconded with the zeal 
he deserves, for I never considered Ld. Castlereagh 
as a decided public character. . . . 

With regard to ... 's letter, I can only say that 
I should be very sorry to allow any officer to purchase 

230 ELVAS [1812 

the majority over my head, if I could afford to 
purchase it. If not, it is no use saying anything on 
the subject. But if I could, ever so well, I do 
not think it would be worth my while to enter into 
Colonel . . .'s exorbitant demands, and as I do not 
wish to be like the dog in the manger, I shall not 
prevent him from making what arrangements he 
pleases with ... by exchanges, etc. But could I 
afford it I most decidedly think that, should such a 
thing offer as direct purchase, I should do very 
wrong in not taking it, and trusting to my interest 
to avoid joining. At present I am literally no 
more than Captn., and must become an effective 
Major before I can either purchase or get a Lt.- 
Colonelcy, except by Brevet, which I assure you is 
most improbable, and at all events I could exchange 
to Infantry as Major, if by that means I could 
remain in the country to the end of the Campaign. 
I shall answer . . . that he may do as he pleases, 
as it is not worth my while to give so much, beyond 
the Regulation, for the Majority. But, if you can 
afford to do it, I should be very sorry that he pur- 
chased over my head, should . . . from length of 
service be allowed to sell his commission, which 
from the style of ... 's letter I rather suspect may 
be the case. But certainly, even if I had the money, 
I would not give more than the Regulation, or allow 
any officer to do it over my head, by informing the 
Agents that I was ready to purchase at the regula- 
tion. But if . . . chooses to make any bargain 
with ... by exchanges, etc., I have no objection. 

With regard to any place of emolument, or settled 
situation in this country, I must frankly tell you 
that there is no rank that they could give me in 


their service which would induce me to remain 
permanently in it, or beyond the Campaign, 
during which I do not think I can quit it with 

My next situation will probably be the command 
of some Regiment when, by the obtaining my 
effective Majority, the Marshal may not be able to 
keep me on his Personal Staff. In that, as in every 
other situation, I shall endeavour to do my duty to 
this country with zeal and assiduity, while I think 
my services are required, but no longer than that 
we are on service, and that there is an English 
army in the country, and, while that is the case, I 
shall use all my interest to remain, however other- 
wise unpleasant to me. But you may rely on it 
that, the moment the law of necessity is removed, 
there will be but little credit and no pleasure to be 
gained in the Portuguese service under such a 

The siege of Badajos commenced on the 16th, 
when the place was partly invested by the Marshal, 
as Ld. Wellington was rather unwell. We had a 
little skirmishing but of no consequence, and the 
place was civil enough to fire very little at us, and 
the lateness of the time the columns arrived pre- 
vented the place from being completely invested. 
Ld. Wn., who is quite well again, thank God, did so 
yesterday without loss, and yesterday evening 
they commenced breaking ground in front of the 
Picorina, a small work in advance of the town, on 
the other side of the Guadiana, on which side all 
our attacks seem to be directed and not against 
St Christopher, which, as well as the town gener- 
ally, the enemy have greatly improved, and have 

232 ELVAS [1812 

built a strong redoubt, where our batteries were 
against St Christopher last year. 

The firing this morning has been pretty brisk 
notwithstanding the heavy rain, which came on 
last night, and is rather unfortunate for our poor 
fellows, most of whom, however, have tents. Both 
Hd. Qrs. were to have encamped yesterday, but by 
some accident or other, it is put off till to-morrow, 
when I hope the weather will moderate. Our Hd. 
Qrs. Camp is about a mile J from the town, and 
quite out of sight under a little hill, where we shall 
be snug enough if the weather holds up. If not 
we must have paciencia, and make the best of it. 
I have a very good tent. I remained at home to- 
day in order to write to you, but I will add to my 
letter before the Courier sets off, and let you know 
how things go on. I have no doubt that, with the 
great means we have, we shall take the place, if the 
enemy give us fair time. But in my opinion a 
general action is almost certain. I do not for a 
moment doubt the result, but on it the fate of 
Badajos will probably depend. Our battering train 
is very complete. We have 16 24-lbers. 20 18-lbs. 
16 5^-inch. or 24-lb. Howitzers, with 10 18-lbs. in 
reserve at Evora. The 3rd, 4th, and Light Divisions 
and the Algarve Brigade, with the necessary 
Artillery and Engineers, and 14th Lt. Dns. and 3rd 
P. Cavalry, are the Arme'e de Siege, and Graham 
and Hill, the two worthy new knights, command 
the Army of observation, which consists of the 1st, 
2nd, 9th, 7th, Divisions and some Cavalry Regts., and 
occupy from Caceres by Merida, Almendralejo, Los 
Santos, Zafra, towards Frejenal, having on their 
right in the Condado de Niebla the Spanish general 


Morilho, with about 4000 men, in observation. 
Marmont, it is said, is collecting on the Tagus, 
and I also expect Soult will move up as many 
troops as they can bring together from all parts 
for the relief of the Town. But, I think, we shall 
have near 60,000 Bayonets, and that is quite 
enough to beat any force they can collect in a 
month. The 5th Division is on its march up, but 
I do not know whether it will join the army of 
observation or the siege. The 14th Lt. Dns. 
arrive here to-morrow, and will, with the 3rd P. 
Cavalry, take the siege duties. 

The only casualties to-day are 6 or 7 killed or 
wounded and 1 French Officer killed. The trench 
is as much advanced as can be expected, considering 
the constant heavy rain which had set in and is 
very unfortunate for our poor fellows. 

Both Hd. Qrs. encamp near Badajos to-morrow. 

Lord Wellington will be much obliged to you 
if you would have the Pipe of wine bottled for him, 
marked with his name, and taken care of for him in 
a good place till his return, as he wishes to keep it 
as a bonne bouche ! I saw young Cowell the day 
before yesterday. He was quite well, and is a fine 
gentlemanly fellow as possible, and seems to like 
the business very much. 

General Leith is very well, and on his march 
here with his division, the 5th. Pray carefully avoid 
mentioning the probability of a general action, or the 
badness of the weather, to my mother. I have 
merely told her that we were encamped at a distance 
from Badajos to facilitate our communications, 
which so far is true, and I think my dear sisters 
also need know nothing about the matter. . . . 


Camp before Badajos, 10th. 

We have had most dismal weather since we 
began the siege. It has rained incessantly. It 
however goes on very well, and our loss in the 
trenches not very great. 

The enemy made a sortie yesterday about 1 1 
to 12 a.m., with about 2500 men, but were repulsed 
with loss it is supposed of about 300 men. We 
have also lost some men, but I do not know 
exactly how many. Poor Capt. Cuthbert, A.D.C. to 
General Picton, was killed by a cannon shot. Lt.- 
Col. Fletcher, Chief Engineer, wounded slightly, and 
some more Officers. I hear we had 80 men killed. 
Some of their Dragoons galloped into our Engineer 
Camp, but of 4, 3 paid the price of their temerity. 
Hill has taken 4 Officers and some few men at 
Merida, and, if the weather would but hold up, we 
should go on famously here. The Prisoners 
yesterday say that General Verlet commanded the 
sortie, and I have also heard that they had two 
Officers killed on 16th. They are keeping up at 
this moment a brisk fire from the town, which 
I hope in a few days we shall be able to answer. 
Our trench runs very near the Fort Picorina. 
From both parties a pretty brisk fire of musquetry 
is kept up. 

I enclose my answer to . . . which, if you 
approve of, you can deliver ; if not, as you know my 
sentiments on the subject, you can answer for me. 

Lord Wellington came into camp yesterday, but 
we were not able to move till this morning, and 
have escaped a most boisterous night. I am quite 


well in health notwithstanding our hard work, and, 
if the weather would moderate, should be rather 
glad to be encamped, as it will save some very- 
fatiguing rides. I will send you a return of our 
forces by my next. At present I have not time, 
nor after such a long epistle would you wish me 
to enter into the other subjects of your letter, but I 
am most happy to find our Politics are exactly the 
same. I am very sorry for poor Farmer's death. 
Poor Vesey's is melancholy indeed for his family. 
Cest la fortune de la guerre. We never allow 
people's deaths, who are not nearly connected with 
us, to disturb us much, or we should always be 
unhappy. . . . Yrs., etc., 

Wm. W. 

It is not easy to write connectedly with such a 
noisy serenade, but as we are out of danger, we 
shall soon be accustomed to the noise. You shall 
hear from me constantly. 

Extracts from Letters to Sisters 

Camp before Badajos, 
March 29, 18 12. 

I am amused with your complaining of the 
noise the Parrot makes, which prevents, your 
writing, when I am at this moment, and constantly 
since the Siege began, serenaded by the roar of 
cannons and musquetry of both sides. We are out 
of danger, but have all the advantage of the noise, 
and if I was to write only when we are quiet, my 
friends would have reason to complain of me, but 


habit reconciles us to everything, and we sleep as 
sound in the uproar now as if in Lisbon. They 
sometimes disturb us at daybreak when the fire is 
always heavier, and to-morrow and the next day, 
when the breaching Batteries open, we shall have 
an additional bass of near 30 great violoncellos. 

Pray give my love to Aunt Jane. She would 
think ill, though I don't, of her own countrymen, if 
she had seen how coolly Pat put all the " Frinch to 
dith " in the Fort the other night. The Connaughts 
(88th) have declared that " they will patronise Ld. 
Welln. no longer if he accepts any " Campititation " 
from the Governor, "for sure, if they can but get a 
cavity in the wall, they will get in every bit of 
them " ! 

You must not quiz my spelling or writing, as, 
please remember, I am writing in a tent on my bed, 
and that those varlets the French are making more 
noise than the Parrot. It is really impertinent of 
them, but they do not know that I am writing to 

April $rd. — Quite well. 

Camp before Badajos, 
April ind, 1812. 

My Dear Father, 

Since I wrote to you on the 27th the 
siege has gone on very well indeed, and the weather 
has been fine though rather too hot, which has in a 
great measure made up for the very bad weather we 
had at the commencement, which certainly retarded 
us two full days. Our men have worked very hard, 


notwithstanding the very heavy fire from the place, 
which the enemy have kept up at times, and 
which our Ricochet Batteries did not prevent much, 
and some of them even suffered very considerably 
themselves, particularly No. 5, and No. 6, which 
is a Howitzer Battery. They are most to our 
right, and exposed to a commanding fire from the 

Though our loss has not hitherto been very 
great considering, we have to lament that of some 
very valuable Officers, amongst others that of Capt. 
Mulcaster of the Engineers, Lt. Connell of the 
Artillery, two most promising young men and 
universally esteemed. On the 29th poor Major 
Thomson, the Commg. Officer of the 88th, was 
killed by my side in the 8 gun breaching Battery. 
We had been walking together in the trenches and 
went down to see how far the Battery was advanced, 
and when it would be ready. The enemy kept up 
a heavy fire of musquetry on it, as it was only 150 
yards from their covered way. We were standing 
up with Major M'Lean of the 1st Ca^adores when 
they fired at us and hit poor Thomson through the 
head, and M'Lean had his watch broke. I 
fortunately jumped down in time and escaped, as 
they hit instead the sandbag I was leaning against, 
which did quite as well. These escapes are not at 
all extraordinary in our trenches, as our 2nd 
parallel is nowhere more than 400 yards from the 
covered way of the town, and in many (places) 
much less. The 6 gun breaching Battery is only 
200, and a new one, which is constructing, and will 
be ready to-morrow morning, much less. But 
notwithstanding the enemy's fire of shot, shells, 


grape and musquetry, it is astonishing the little 
damage they do, or how few men comparatively are 
hit. The 8 gun breaching Battery opened on the 
30th against the flank of the Bastion of St Maria, 
with considerable effects, but it drew upon it the 
whole fire of the Place, and suffered a good deal 
itself. On the 31st the 12 gun Battery of 24 prs. 
and the 6 gun By. of 18 prs. opened against the 
right face of the Bastion of La Trinidad, with 
excellent effect, and though it has proved a very 
tough one, the old wall is now coming down very 
fast, and as it is more forward a great deal than 
that on the flank of St Maria, the 6 gun Battery 
was also this morning turned against it, and I have 
great hopes that on the 4th or 5th at furthest it will 
be ready for the general assault. It will be a 
glorious night, and I have not a doubt, though there 
are great disadvantages to overcome, that we shall 
take the Town, and the enemy will probably retire 
into the Castle, which is an old Moorish or Gothic 
one, and from whence they will be forced to capitu- 
late, as well as the adjacent forts. 

Our Artillerymen, both British and Portuguese, 
have fired extremely well indeed, much better than 
the enemy, whose fire, though at times very brisk, 
is very ill directed, and their shells do very little 
harm, though tolerably well thrown, on account of 
some mismanagement in their fuses. They either 
burst too soon, or so late that everybody has time 
to get out of their way. Yesterday and the day 
before their fire was heavier than I ever have seen 
it before in the siege, but to-day it has been very 
slack indeed on their side. We have lost two 
very good Portuguese Artillery Officers, Captn. 


Julio Caesar D'Amoral and Barceiros, both very- 
gallant good Officers, and Capt. Dundas of the 
British Artillery, and Lieut. Grimes, badly wounded. 
The former has lost an arm. Major M'Leod of the 
Engineers is doing well. He is a very zealous and 
good Officer. 

The conduct of the Portuguese Troops during 
the whole Siege, and under very trying circum- 
stances, has been most exemplary, particularly their 
Artillery, which is really very good. It is difficult 
to say which troops, the British or Portuguese, are 
the most indifferent to danger. In both it is quite 
remarkable. But John goes to work more steadily 
and sullenly, while the Portuguese must be well led, 
and have his joke. They are great wits in their 
way, and, without the resolution and impenetrable 
sang froid of the British, which no danger can 
disturb, they have more patience and subordination 
under greater privations and hardship. But the 
Portuguese has not the bodily strength of the 
former, is naturally lazy, and is not used to our 
pickaxes and shovels. Therefore on the working 
parties the British do their work better in half 
the time. But both seem equally careless of danger. 
They agree perfectly well together, and amongst 
the men there is scarce an instance of disagreement 
or disturbance. 

On the evening of the 30th the Enemy made a 
small sortie with 2 or 300 men against a working 
party of 200 men of the Algarve Brigade who were 
constructing a small Redoubt, on the other side of 
the Guadiana opposite St Christopher's Fort 
Napoleon, and who allowed them to come close up 
to them, gave them a volley, and drove them in a 


moment back into their works, leaving their 
Commanding Officer and some men dead on the 
field, since which they have never ventured to 
molest them, though they are only 2600 men, 
Portuguese, and part of the 3rd P. Cavalry without 
a British Regiment, the 5th Divn. (Leith's) having 
marched to Valverde to be ready to join Graham, 
should it be necessary, which I much doubt, x for I 
hope we shall be in the place before either Soult or 
Marmont can possibly arrive to relieve it. 

With regard to what they are about, we have 
so many reports, and so different, that I do not 
know exactly what to believe, but do not think they 
can collect a sufficient force in time. I think by 
the 4th or 5th the breaches will be ready for a 
general assault. We shall lose a great many men, 
but I have not a doubt we shall take the Place. 

General Graham's expedition against Drouet 
did not succeed. The enemy had too good in- 
formation, or were too vigilant, and they could only 
come up with their rearguard of cavalry, and there 
was a little skirmishing. 

Ewart is getting on quite well. His wound was 
slight through the fleshy part of the arm. All our 
other friends are well. You will of course, my dear 
Father, not show this letter to . . .or mention my 
being exposed at all. There is no occasion for 
them to know that I have anything to do with the 
trenches or Batteries. 

April $rd. 

Our new 6 gun Battery (opened) against St 
Pedro curtain, but I have not yet heard with what 
effect. An attempt was made last night to blow up 


the dam which confines the water in the inunda- 
tion and ditch of the place, but though our fine 
fellows, Captn. Douglas and Robert Campbell, with 
their Companies, contrived to creep unperceived to 
the place which is behind the Ravelin and St Roque, 
and about 50 yards from the wall of the town, the 
explosion had not the desired effect, but we had not 
a man hurt. 

General Graham has returned to Villa Franca. 
Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

We have a pretty little spot for our Hd. Qrs. 
opposite the English Troupe D'Or£e, under a little 
hill, which just conceals us from the town, whence 
they have never molested us, though they sometimes 
fire along the road 40 yards to our left, and, if we 
are quite safe, we have at all events all the advantage 
of the noise, which is at intervals like the rolling of 

Badajos Camp, 
April 7. 

My Dear Father, 

I have the happiness of communi- 
cating to you the capture of Badajos by assault 
last night after a most obstinate resistance, and 
with, I am grieved to add, as a painful counter- 
poise to the exaltation of victory, very severe loss. 

Since I wrote to you on the 3rd the breaches 
have become daily more practicable, and the day 
before yesterday a new one, which was begun 
between the two others, was also very forward and 
yesterday practicable. It was intended to have 



stormed the day before, but the enemy's defences 
were considered in too perfect a state, and the 
fire of most of our Batteries was directed for the 
last two days against the new breach, and to 
silence and dismount their guns. 

The attack took place last night at 10 o'clock. 
The Light Division was to storm the breach in the 
flank of the Bastion of St Maria. This consists of 
43rd, 52nd, 95th, 1 st, and 3rd, P. Cac^dores. 

The 4th Division (Genl. Colville's), the 7th, 23rd, 
48th, 40th, and 27th, were to storm the main breach, 
while the 3rd Division (Picton's), the 5th, 45th, 88th, 
74th, 94th, 77th, with 9 and 21 Portuguese, attacked 
the Castle by escalade, and General Leith's (the 
5th Div.), consisting of the 4th, 9th, 1st, 44th, 30th, 
38th, were partly in reserve, and partly escaladed a 
weak part of the town near the Guadiana. 

The advances to the breaches were found much 
more difficult than was expected, having to descend 
before the main ditch into a very deep avant fossd, 
and the enemy perfectly prepared to receive them 
with mines, shells, entrenchments, in short a most 
excellent system of defence. Our brave fellows did 
all that men could do, but they were mown down 
by hundreds, and their Officers mostly killed or 
wounded, and, after losing a great many men, they 
were repulsed, but fortunately the two attacks 
which were the least probable, by escalade, having 
succeeded, Picton having got into the old Moorish 
Castle, which commands the town, and part of 
Leith's people (General Walker's Brigade) on the 
left, another rush was made at the breaches by 
part of the Light Division, and, about daybreak, 
the town and its adjacent forts were in our 


possession, with Philippon the Governor, a General 
Weyland, a great many Officers, and about 3500 

I dare not enter into the detail of our loss. 
The papers will too soon publish the painful news. 
Of all my friends Dawson is the only one I can say 
is safe, and Hunt. The remainder I know nothing 
of for certain, but that the loss of 52nd, and of 
that whole division, very great indeed, as well as of 
the 4th, Generals Bowes, Colville, and Walker, 
wounded, and poor Gibbs. Merry 52nd Regt. 
wounded, but not very badly. Jones, Poole, 
Madden, killed. I am, thank God, quite well, 
though very much tired and fagged. I was on 
horseback all yesterday, (and the weather is dread- 
fully hot,) and all night, or on foot, and such a 
night, I think, I never spent of suspense, horror, 
and expectation. I was sent before daybreak, as 
soon as our men were in the town, to endeavour to 
establish a communication, across the Bridge and 
tite de Pont, with Genl. Bowes, who was on that 
side. I met Lord Fitzroy Somerset, who was 
going on nearly the same duty, and at the tite de 
Pont we found an Officer and 40 men, and in Fort 
St Christopher, whither we heard he had retreated, 
the Governor Genl. Philippon, General Weyland, 
and a great many officers, all of whom surrendered 
immediately, on our summoning them, and the 
Chiefs we conducted to Lord Wellington. 

It is most extraordinary that, notwithstanding 
the obstinate defence, and causes of animosity 
which our men had, and all their previous determina- 
tions, they gave quarter to almost every Frenchman, 
and I really believe their loss in killed and wounded 


must be comparatively very small to ours. The 
Marshal and everybody belonging to this Hd. Qrs. 
escaped unhurt, and are well, as also all Lord 
Wellington's Staff. My friends of the 4th Regt. 
have suffered very much indeed. There was scarce 
a Regiment engaged that has not, for the fire at 
the breaches was immense, and from the depth of 
the ditches, and accumulated means of defence, it 
appears to me that it was almost impossible for our 
brave fellows to force them, and it was most 
fortunate that the side attacks succeeded at the 
Castle and at the Bastion of St Vincente. I am 
so tired I can say no more. God Almighty bless 
you all. My kindest love. Your most affectionate 

Wm. Warre. 

[Written across the above] 

%th April. 

My Dearest Father, 

I avail myself of the delay of the 
Officer, who is to carry the despatches, to tell you 
that I am quite well, notwithstanding the fatigue 
of the other night which I have nearly got over. 
I think I never was more completely fagged in my 
life than I was till I got to bed last night, for 
mind and body had been on the constant stretch 
for 36 hours incessantly. 

I am just returned from the town, to which I 
had not been since the night of the storm. 
The breaches and advance to them present a 
dreadful spectacle even now that the wounded are 


removed. Our loss was very great indeed, particu- 
larly in Officers. I think, including the losses 
during the siege, we have upwards of 3000 killed 
and wounded. Many Regiments (had) almost all 
their Officers hit in some way or other, though I 
do not think the proportion of killed equal to that 
of the wounded. The town also has suffered much 
from the effect of three sieges within a year, and 
being taken by assault, when it was almost impos- 
sible to restrain the avarice and licentiousness of the 
soldiery, which so greatly sullies the brilliancy of 
their conduct and victory, and forces their Officers 
to blush for the excesses of the very men they 
before admired as heroes. Fortunately a greater 
part of the inhabitants had quitted the place 
previously. Those that remained have paid dearly 
for their folly, and have but little reason to rejoice in 
the victory of their friends. However, it is perhaps 
impossible entirely to prevent these excesses, when 
the place is taken in the manner this was. And it 
is also as prudent to hold our tongues, and shut our 
eyes on miseries it is out of our power to prevent, 
but must deeply feel, and our hearts and wishes 
naturally but longingly turn to dear, dear old 
England, and those beloved friends it contains, as 
we pray Almighty God to preserve them from the 
horrid scourge of war as the greatest of human 

The enemy's defence was admirably prepared at 
all points, and does great honor to the talents of 
the Chief Engineer, as well as the great improve- 
ments he has made in the works of the place since 
the last siege. Everything bespeaks of great 
activity and talent, and in a few months hence the 

246 BADAJOS [1812 

conquest would have been much more difficult. 
Could one forget what rascals these fellows are, 
one would admire their gallantry and military 
abilities as they deserve, but they do nothing from 
laudable motives, and we are forced from many 
circumstances to attribute even this obstinate 
defence rather to fear of their relentless Tyrant, than 
to any motives of honour and proper military 

Their entrenchments behind the breaches, 
Chevaux de /rise of Sword Blades, etc., were very 
formidable, and, added to the difficulty of access to 
the Breaches from heavy fire, made it almost 
impossible to force them, had not our escalading 
parties fortunately succeeded. Generals Colville, 
Walker, Harvey, P. Bowes, and Kemp, are 
wounded. I had written General Picton, but it was 
only a contusion from a spent ball and not worth 

Soult was advancing, but I believe with not 
sufficient force, to endeavour to relieve the place, 
and perhaps, in conjunction with Marmont, to have 
fought us, if necessary, but I now have little doubt 
that he will retire again towards Seville. His 
advance was at Villa Franca, but I fear has retired 
again. We are yet unable to foresee Soult's inten- 
tions. He is within 8 leagues of us, his advance 
guard. But he has not more than 30 to 35,000 
men, and we could fight nearly double that number. 
I wish to God he would advance. 

Marmont was between the Agueda and Coa 
threatening Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo, but I 
trust he will now be forced to retreat. The latter 
place is but ill provided with provisions, but 


Spaniards require little, and it would hold out some 
time. Unless he retreats I suspect part of our Army 
will march again towards the North. Marmont, 
however, cannot at all events subsist there long. 

Camp before Badajos, 
April loth) 1812. 

My Dear Father, 

Though very much pressed for time 
I will not let the mail go without adding a few lines 
to what I wrote you the day before yesterday, 
particularly as I shall be unable to-morrow to wish 
you many happy returns of your birthday, as I 
shall go into Elvas. 

Our people are now busily employed in filling 
up the trenches and destroying our Batteries. By 
yesterday evening most of the dead were buried, 
though from the unavoidable confusion on such 
occasions and their great number, it was delayed 
till the spectacle became more horrid than can 
easily be conceived. 

The inhabitants also are beginning to return. 
Most of them had left at the beginning of the siege, 
and many to fly from the horror of a storm on the 
morning that we entered, so that since order was 
restored on the morning of the 8th, and most of our 
people except the garrison turned out, the town 
looks quite deserted, and in many parts is nothing 
but a miserable heap of ruins. Great pains are 
taking to clean the streets and clear away the 
rubbish, which will, I hope, prevent any great sick- 
ness from ensuing, and the weather has fortunately 
become much cooler. 


Soult had advanced to Villa Franca with about 
30,000 men, but hearing that the place was taken, 
and that Ballasteros had entered Seville, he yester- 
day morning commenced his retreat again rapidly 
towards the Sierra Morena, to prevent Ballasteros 
from attacking the Cartucha where the French have 
huge magazines of stores of all kinds. I hope he 
will in the first place destroy the Arsenal and 
Foundry, for he can hardly expect to hold it, if the 
French were to return in force, which was most 
probable, and these have been of the greatest use 
to them. Soult's communication with Victor now 
and Cadiz must be very difficult. 

Marmont also, with about 17,000 men, was 
between the Agueda and Coa, and threatened 
Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, towards which latter 
place he had sent about 4000 men to attempt to 
take it by escalade, but they were repulsed most 
gallantly by the militia under Trant and Colonel 
Le Mesurier the Governor. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

The Marshal, Hardinge, etc., are quite well. 
Gibb's wound is, I hope, not bad. 
Merry (52nd) is dead of his. 

Nava, on the Road between 
Sabugal and Alfaiates, 
April 24, 18 12. 

My Dearest Father, 

Having just heard that the mail is 
detained I will not miss telling you that I am well. 
I wrote yesterday to Jack, but in such a hurry that 


I had not even time to read my letter over, and fear 
he will have much difficulty in reading and making 
sense of my letter, as I was obliged to write stand- 
ing on an old broken chest at Malcato, and am 
now using the same description of table, though 
with the luxury of an old broken chair. It is 
impossible to give you an adequate idea of the 
misery in every village into which the enemy have 
entered, as they have destroyed everything that 
they could not carry away, and in my present habi- 
tation a considerable part of the floor has been torn 
up, and the windows, doors, and furniture burnt, 
except my old chair and chest, which appear to 
have placed the flames at defiance. Hunger and 
famine surround us in all directions among the 
unhappy peasantry, and our charity to some few 
has now completely exhausted our means. Money 
is of little use where nothing is to be bought. All 
our forage for our horses, for the last two days, 
consists in what we can cut in the fields, which 
even have not escaped the rapacity of the enemy. 

Marmont has retreated across the Agueda, and 
is I believe in full march to Salamanca. We have 
communicated with both Almeida and Ciudad 
Rodrigo. I do not myself think that Ld. Wn. 
can pursue them much farther as the country is a 
desert, and our supplies very distant, owing to 
his rapid and long march of 200 miles since the 
14th inst. As far as Castello Branco we had 
most wretched weather, but latterly it has been fine, 
though cold. 

Thus has ended Marshal Marmont's grand 
diversion with his whole Army. He advanced to 
Castello Branco, Covilhao, and Fundao, plundered 

250 NAVA [1812 

the already often plundered places between them 
and the Frontier, and drove away some cattle. He 
blockaded Ciudad Rodrigo, and threatened Almeida, 
but was warmly received on a reconnaissance he 
made there, and never made any further attempt. 
His army has suffered dreadfully from want. The 
prisoners and deserters describe it as equal to when 
they retired from the Lines, and the few cattle 
he could catch in this mountainous country could 
afford him a very scanty and precarious supply. 
The moment we crossed the Tagus he fell back, 
the Division on his left upon Pena Maior and 
Sabugal, and we were in hopes for a day or two 
that he would wait for us, but that soon vanished, 
for as we advanced he fell back, and finally across 
the Agueda without waiting even to see our advance 
guard. Had Badajos held out some time longer 
this diversion might have been of some consequence, 
as Ciudad Rodrigo would have been much distressed 
for provisions, and Almeida not in the safest state of 
defence. As it is, all he has got has been his trouble 
for his pains, great sufferings to his army, and a 
hasty retreat before an army but very little superior 
in numbers to his own. 

Lord Wn.'s rapid movement appears to have 
astonished him a good deal, and hitherto the Army 
has suffered no privations. Those we do are 
owing to the ignorance and obstinate indolence of 
the Portuguese Commissariat. I am perfectly igno- 
rant of Ld. Wn.'s intentions, but should not 
imagine we should advance much further for the 
present. To-morrow we move to Fuente Guinaldo, 
4 leagues. We were to have gone there to-day, but 
the enemy was still with their advances too near for 


Hd. Qrs., or rather were supposed to be, for it 
appears they retired last night. 

Our approaches at Badajos have been filled up 
and levelled and the breaches put in some temporary 
state of defence. We have therefore nothing to 
fear from that quarter, as Soult is fully occupied in 
keeping Andalusia. Had Badajos not fallen, and 
that he had persevered in advancing, he would have 
got a famous licking, as we should have been equal 
at least to him, leaving 10,000 men to carry on the 
siege. But Ballasteros' advance to Seville embar- 
rassed him very much, and a defeat would be ruinous 
to him, or Marmont, who to the great disappoint- 
ment of our army seems determined not to risk it. 

I am perfectly well, though we have all had a 
good deal of fatigue and knocking about in this 
wretched Beira. I fear our horses will suffer most, 
which annoys me more than anything, and a person 
must be more hardened than I am to warfare to be 
either very happy, or in good spirits, surrounded as 
we are by scenes of misery and distress beyond 
what we can give our happy countrymen in England 
an idea of. I do not think it by any means im- 
probable that we shall return to the Alemtejo, and 
that the active scenes of this Campaign, which is 
far from being over, will be in Spanish Estre- 
madura. But this is mere conjecture. The present 
object is to revictual Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, 
and place them in a respectable state of defence. I 
hear very well of the Spanish garrison of the former. 

All our wounded at Badajos are, I understand, 
doing extremely well. This change of weather 
from great heat to cool and rain has been quite 
providential and saved many lives. 


The Marshall, Hardinge, Arbuthnot, etc., are 
quite well. Hardinge got a shot through his coat 
at the assault, and as usual behaved with great zeal 
and courage. Sewell is, poor fellow, ill again and 
must return to England. I fear much that his is a 
bad case. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

Ld. Wn.'s Hd. Qrs. are at Alfaiates to-day, as 
badly off as we are. To-morrow he will be at 
Fuente Guinaldo. 

P.S. — I have written on two half sheets for the 
best reason in the world ! 

Extract from Letter to Sister. 

Fuente Guinaldo, May 20, 18 12. 

I must begin in order to prepare you for the 
worst by telling you that this is a very stupid place, 
that I am very stupid, and that I have nothing to 
say, and therefore you must receive a very stupid 

I am quite well, though we are all heartily tired 
of Fuente Guinaldo where our only amusement is 
hunting. Yesterday we went out to a grand Chasse 
au Sanglier, but the only bore we got was a great 
wetting, for it rained incessantly after we were 
posted behind trees and rocks, and while a great 
many peasants were driving the woods towards us, 
and not a single boar or wolf made its appearance. 
We were so completely wet through that when I 


tried to fire at a fox which passed close to me, my 
gun missed fire, being quite wet, and we returned 
home two leagues in despair. It would have been 
a very pretty scene if the weather had been fine, as 
we went out a large party, and a great many peasants, 
and all in great glee. We should have found some 
wild animals, as there are a great many, particularly 
wolves, who have had the impudence to walk away 
with several mules and horses from this place, but 
it rained so heavily, that both the wolves and boars 
remained at home, and were not to be seen, and we 
became cold geese for going to see them in such 
weather. We hope before we leave this to have 
another hunting party, as it must be a very gay 
and fine spectacle in fine weather. The Peasantry 
are obliged by law to go out on these occasions, as the 
destruction of these animals is beneficial to the 
whole community. The people that are armed are 
placed behind trees or rocks, or hid in the brushwood 
forming a sort of chain round a particular part of 
the mountain, and the remainder go in with dogs, 
and by their shouts and noise drive the animals 
towards you. . . . We do not know when we are 
to leave this place, or in what direction we are to 
move. It is so great a secret and so well kept that 
I cannot even guess it, but I am sure I shall have 
no great regret for Guinaldo whichever way we 
go. ... I can hardly write at all, and to add to my 
misfortunes they have just been trying a poor devil 
of a Commissary at the same table, and I wonder I 
have not entered some minutes of his examination. 


May 28, 1 8 12. 

My Dear Father, 

I had yesterday the pleasure to receive 
your very affectionate and kind letter, and with all 
my soul I thank you for all the solicitude you 
express about me, and congratulations on my 
escape at Badajos. I have hitherto been very 
fortunate, and have much cause to be grateful to 
Almighty God for his infinite goodness in protecting 
me. It appears to mortals almost a lottery. Some 
are never hit, while others less exposed never go 
into action without. 

I felt painfully the loss of so many friends, but 
in this profession we dare not long indulge or 
admit such feelings. It would but ensure continued 
misery, and such is the force of habit or prejudice 
that one scarcely feels for the death of a friend in 
action, whose death if from illness or other cause 
would be a source of real affliction ; and fortunate 
it is that it is so. We are all quite well here 
(barring a broken shin I got from a stone, which has 
confined me for a day or two, but is now getting 
well) and all most anxious for a move, though it is 
yet a secret which way it is to be. As far as con- 
jecture goes I do not think we shall recross the 
Tagus, for the present at all events, and probably 
move forward towards Salamanca. 

Sir Rowland Hill's success at Almaraz has put 
us all in great spirits, and must have puzzled the 
enemy a good deal as to Lord Wellington's plans. 
This affair has been conducted with his usual 


judgement and gallantry. The General had arrived 
by a rapid march in front of the Enemy's works at 
Mirabete, which is a strong pass over the mountains 
leading to the Bridge at Almaraz, and about a 
league distant from it, but he was delayed here a 
few days, as he found the works were not to be 
carried by a coup de main, nor could he while they 
were in the enemy's possession get his Artillery 
over the steep rocky mountains in order to attack 
the Forts, which protected more immediately the 
Enemy's Arsenal, Barracks, Bridge, etc. He there- 
fore left it behind, and a Corps to observe the Fort, 
and made his Infantry scramble over the mountains 
with nothing but their fire-locks, and immediately 
attacked with the greatest gallantry the enemy's 
works on the other side of the River, and carried 
them, turning their fire on those which they had 
over the Bridge on this side, which they were forced 
to abandon, and he got possession of the whole, 
except those at Mirabete, with the loss of only two 
Captns. killed, about 9 Officers wounded, 25 men 
killed/and 120 or 130 wounded. I have not seen 
the return. The enemy lost 300 taken Prisoners, 
and 200 were drowned by the Bridge giving way, or 
killed. 300 cars of different descriptions, the 
Bridge, Arsenal, and Barracks they had constructed, 
a large Depot of Stores and Provisions, all the 
works, and two large Pontoons they had on the 
stocks, completely destroyed, and the communica- 
tion the most direct between the North of Spain and 
Castile cut off, which must annoy the French very 
much, and force them to communicate by the 
Bridge of Argobispo, which is considerably about. 
Major Currie, A.D.C. to Sir R. Hill, goes home 


with the account, but as he goes by the Packet, 
which has been detained, I think it the surest way 
to send this in the mail. 

The enemy on hearing of this affair have 
evacuated Ledesma, and only left a very small 
garrison to take care of their sick at Salamanca, 
which shows that they do not think of opposing us 
should we move on in that direction. 

Hill had moved again towards Medellin and Don 
Benito, which will force the enemy to withdraw the 
small parties they have in that neighbourhood, or 
advance in force, which I do not think they are 
likely to do. 

Lord Wellington has adopted a new plan in 
order to derive a more effectual assistance from the 
Spaniards. Each British Regiment, except the 
Guards and Dragoons, are allowed to enlist ten men 
per Company of a certain stature, 5 ft. 6 inches, who 
are to be in every respect treated as British soldiers, 
to serve as long as the Army remains in the Penin- 
sula, and then to have a months pay to take them 
to their homes. I think it is a most excellent plan, 
and I have very little doubt we shall very soon get 
the whole number, 5000, and they will make excellent 
recruits, for in point of activity and fineness of 
appearance the Spanish Peasantry are certainly 
inferior to none, and this measure may hereafter 
serve as a foundation for a more regular Spanish 
Army, and Napoleon will be greatly annoyed at our 
having adopted this measure of filling up our 
casualties, without draining England, and with 
recruits little inferior to our own in appearance or 
physical strength. 

I went yesterday to a Review of the Light 


Division, 43rd, 52nd, 95th, 1 and 3 Cagadores, and a 
troop of R. Artillery. It was a most animating 
sight, and they moved very well. Ld. Wn. was 
apparently much satisfied with them. They are 
getting very strong again in numbers, nearly 3000 
in the field, but very weak in Officers from the losses 
at Cd. Rodrigo and Badajos. 

[Remainder of letter wanting.] 

[On a small sheet separate.] 

May $otk. 

The mail has been detained, and I therefore 
open my letter to add that Hill has returned to his 
old positions after resting his troops a few days at 
Truxillo. Graham has also returned to his canton- 
ments at Port Alegre, having advanced to Cageres 
and Albuquerque to support Hamilton's Division, 
in case Drouet had thought proper to assault 
it in Hill's absence. Everything is quiet in our 
front. I am laid up with my broken shin, but more 
from prudence than necessity. As we are likely to 
move soon, I thought it best to get it well while I 
could, for fear that by moving in the heat is might 
give me a great deal of trouble. It was deep and 
on the bone, and I sillily neglected it at first. It 
is now getting much better. The Marshal is quite 
well. Poor Sewell has left us and gone home ill, I 
fear very seriously so, whether from his liver or 
consumption. . . . 

Pray see about the places I mentioned, what 
can be done about them. They are highly 
desirable in every point of view, and there are 
several of the same description abroad, but I have 


258 SALAMANCA [1812 

no great fancy to go to the West Indies or further 
East than the Cape, though should such a situation 
be offered me in the East, I scarce think I could 
refuse it. . . . 

Salamanca, June 17, 181 2. 

My Dearest Mother, 

I have hesitated whether I should 
write to you to thank you for yours of 30th of May, 
or to my father for his of 21st and 27th. . . . We 
arrived here yesterday, the enemy having retired 
towards the River Douro, only leaving a small 
garrison in a fort they have made in the town round 
the Convent of St Vicente, and round which they 
have pulled down all the houses. It is, however, a 
very bad fortification and was not finished. I have 
therefore no idea that it can stand a day, when our 
Battery opens, which will be to-morrow morning. 
We are quite out of danger in this part of the town 
and very comfortably quartered. 

The Army crossed the Agueda in 3 columns on 
the 13th. The right, commanded by Sir J. Graham, 
marched by Tamames ; the centre, by General Leith, 
marched by San Menios ; and the left, by General 
Picton, by St Espiritu and Martin d'El Rio. These 
roads run parallel very near to each other, so that 
the Army was nearly assembled every night. On 
the 13th the River Yettes, the 14th the Huebra, 
and the 15th the Valmaza. We saw nothing of the 
enemy till the 15 th. When about two leagues from 
this the Advance Guard fell in with some Cavalry, 
about 5 Regts. supported by 1500 Infantry, near 
the Town, with which our Cavalry skirmished with 
very little loss, and as our Columns advanced 


gradually drove them back upon the City, within 
two miles of which our posts were established. 
They took from the enemy an Officer and about 
20 men. Our loss is 3 Officers wounded slightly, 
and about 7 men wounded and some horses. 

Yesterday at 1 a.m. Marmont left this, with 
his Cavalry, taking the road to Toro, and only 
leaving a garrison in the Fort or Convent, which 
appears to me sacrificed, for they cannot hold out. 
Our Cavalry passed the Tormes without opposition 
and occupied the town, avoiding the streets which 
lead to the Fort, and the left column and Advance 
Guard moving to the Villages in front of this, and 
the greater part of the Cavalry. The Enemy 
attacked the Cavalry Picquets in the evening, but 
were immediately driven back, and to-day, when we 
rode out at daybreak, we could only see them at a 
great distance, where I suppose they will watch our 
movements, but most probably retire as we advance 
towards the Douro, which appears to be Ld. Wn.'s 
plan, and the French have yet no force to meet our 
Army. But I do not suppose Ld. Wellington will 
himself advance further than that, but he keeps his 
plans a profound secret, and the whole Army follow 
him with confidence and affection wherever he 
chooses to lead us. 

We have been everywhere received with the 
greatest cordiality and joy by the Spaniards as their 
deliverers from the oppressive tyranny of the 
French, much more than ever I saw before. At 
this place yesterday it was quite affecting to see the 
joy of the inhabitants. Many absolutely cried for 
joy, and we were embraced, or had to shake hands 
with everybody we met. One old woman hugged 

260 SALAMANCA [1812 

and kissed Ld. Wn. to his great annoyance, and 
one man literally kissed my horse as I rode into 
the town. We were followed through the streets 
with cheers and vivas, which have annoyed the 
Frenchmen a good deal, and they revenged them- 
selves by firing at everyone they saw in the cross 
streets leading to their works. They have pulled 
down a considerable part of the town to lay open 
the space round them, and down to the bridge, over 
which nobody can as yet pass safely. But in two 
days I hope they must surrender, or be taken by 
storm. It is such an insignificant place that nobody 
except the troops immediately employed in making 
the battery or covering the workmen, seem to 
trouble their heads about them, and walk about the 
streets, men, women, and children, in perfect safety 
and with the greatest unconcern. 

I am perfectly well though a little fagged, as we 
have for the last few days had an active life both 
for mind and body. We generally get up at 3 
o'clock and ride till 11 or 12, and sometimes again 
in the Evening. Everything is done to avoid the 
heat of the day, which, however, has not been very 
great, as we are very high above the sea in this part 
of the Country. There is almost always a breeze, 
and at this moment the Bejar mountains, which are 
at no great distance, are covered with snow. 

Parts of this fine city have suffered very much 
from the Enemy, who have destroyed part of it to 
make their Fort, and yesterday burnt a suburb that 
was near it, but notwithstanding there are some 
beautiful buildings left, particularly the Cathedral, 
which is magnificent. But the monsters fired at the 
steeple yesterday and knocked away a very beauti- 


ful buttress, and nobody is allowed to go there, to 
avoid drawing their attention in that direction at all. 
I quite agree with you about the state of the 
Country (sc. England). It is most lamentable 
though most disgraceful at the time, that in the 
middle of Peace our worthless manufacturers, 
excited by still more worthless because wiser Poli- 
ticians, are killing and rioting amongst themselves. 
In this town, yesterday evening, the people were, 
in the very centre of warfare, dancing and gay in 
almost every street. Such are the dispensations of 
Providence. There is no accounting for such things, 
and it shows how little people know when they 
ought to be happy and contented, and how unjust 
to repine at whatever our fate may be. But it is 
Human nature, and I blush to think that I must cease 
to consider the British the high minded generous 
people they used to be. It can hardly be believed 
that Englishmen could glory in the most cowardly 
of all revenge, that of assassination, with which they 
have so often rebuked other nations. 

Your countrymen (sc. The Irish) have behaved 
very well, and most sincerely I wish them the 
reward they deserve, and every civil liberty which 
is compatible with the Constitution of the State. I 
have written a very stupid and hurried letter, which 
pray excuse as I have been up since 3 o'clock, and 
did not go to bed till past 11, besides a long ride, 
but I never was in better health in my life, and so 
are the whole army. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

I am so tired I can hardly write, so pray excuse 
my stupid letter to my dear Father. 

262 SALAMANCA [1812 

Salamanca, 25M June 18 12. 

My Dearest Father, 

I have been too constantly occupied 
since the 17th to write even a few lines to anybody. 
I gave in my letter of that date some account of 
our advance to this place. . . . 

We have had a most interesting though harass- 
ing time of it since I wrote. On the 18th we began 
to fire at the Fort, from a Convent near it, with 
field-pieces, and next day, finding it much stronger 
than was expected, 4 iron 18 Prs. were mounted, 
which knocked down very soon one end of the 
Convent, but the works, which we found to be by 
no means so easily forced, were not at all injured, 
and the enemy seemed determined to make a 
gallant resistance. On the 19th, in the morning, 
accounts arrived that Marmont and his whole army 
were advancing in sight. The 6th Division under 
Clinton was therefore left to carry on the attack of 
the Forts, and the rest of the army assembled in a 
position tolerably strong for an army of equal 
strength, the left near St Christoval de la Cuesta 
extending in rear of Castillejos de Morisco and 
Morisco towards the Tormes, from which our right, 
however, was some distance, though the ground is 
strong and we could easily move to it if all attacked 
in that direction. The Spanish Corps of about 3000 
men under Don Carlos d'Espanha, and 800 Cavalry 
Guerrillas under Dn. Julian Sanchez, were on our 
left on some strong ground in continuation of 
our line. 

On arriving there we distinctly saw the French 


army advancing towards us from Toro, by Aldea 
Nueva, Archidiacono, etc., etc., in heavy columns 
of Infantry with a strong advance guard, and about 
3000 Cavalry. 

The day was very unfavourable, as we had 
heavy rains and thunderstorms, which however 
have cooled the air, and since been of great use to 
us. During the night of the 20th the enemy 
advanced, and occupied the ground within cannon 
range of our position, and the villages of Castillejos 
and Morisco, concealing their numbers by the 
inequalities of the ground, and certainly giving us 
every occasion to believe they had come down 
determined to fight, which everybody was glad of, 
as it would save a great deal of trouble in going 
after them, away from our resources, and which we 
could not do till we had taken the Fort in the 
Town, which completely commands and prevents 
our making any use of the Bridge. 

Nothing, however, was done on the 20th, 
except a pretty brisk cannonade towards evening 
on both sides, though it did not last long. We 
lost a few horses of the Heavy Dragoons, and there 
was some skirmishing on the right with the nth 
Lt. Dns. and 1st German Hussars. 

On the 2 1 st the enemy continued all day to 
receive very strong reinforcements. We were so 
close, and overlooked their position so completely, 
that we could see everything that entered their lines 
and every movement they made. 

Everybody expected that they would have 
attacked next morning, as it was known that Mar- 
mont had received every succour he could, except 
Bonnet's Division from the Asturias, which was not 

264 SALAMANCA [1812 

expected to be coming up, but we were again 
disappointed. They only occupied a small hill on 
our right near Morisco, which overlooked our posi- 
tion, but from which they were driven by part of 
the 7th Division, which cost about 60 or 70 killed 
and wounded, but the enemy's Cavalry and Infantry 
must have suffered a good deal from our cannonade 
and musquetry, as they were very close to each other. 
The enemy seemed jealous of their left flank, which 
was not at all secure, and moved the greater part of 
his Cavalry, and a column of Infantry to strengthen 
it, but nothing more was done, except that our 
Cavalry chased Marmont, who had advanced a 
good way to our left to reconnoitre, but he had 
some Infantry with him and they could do nothing 
against it. The enemy fired a few cannon shot at 
them, which did very little harm. 

The next morning, to our great surprise, we 
found the enemy had retired, and when the day 
broke saw them moving off at a short distance 
towards our Right, and then halted on some heights, 
about 6 miles in front of our position. The Cavalry 
was sent forward to pursue them, and took up a line 
of vedettes very near them. Lord Wellington and 
the Marshal rode out to reconnoitre them, but I do 
not think anybody could make out anything of 
their intentions. We were very close to them, and 
they appeared to be halted near Aldea Rubia, and 
Morrera, to allow their baggage to move off to the 
rear, which, however, does not seem to have been 
the case, for they are still there. 

We thought this morning that they had retired 
further, in consequence of which we returned early 
to this place and the Baggage was ordered up, but 


I have just heard that they are still near the same 

Marmont yesterday crossed the Tormes with 
about 5000 men, Cavalry and Infantry, to manoeuvre 
to get Lord Wn. from his position, I suppose, or to 
endeavour to get off the garrison of the Fort, which 
still holds out. But not succeeding they returned 
in the evening, having contented themselves with 
cannonading the Heavy Cavalry of the German 
Legion, who behaved with great steadiness and 
gallantry and have received Ld. Wn's. thanks. 

Several Divisions were moved to our right, 
ready to cross, and the 1st Div. was at the ford of 
Sta. Martha. The 7th went over to prevent any 
attempt towards the Bridge of the town and to 
support our Cavalry. The whole day was spent 
in manoeuvring. 

After the unaccountable movements of the 
enemy lately, it is impossible even to guess the 
probable result of all these movements. I think a 
general action probable. Till they retired, I 
thought it was inevitable. For I suppose there 
was scarcely ever such a thing heard of as two 
hostile armies being without any obstacle between 
them, the lines within cannon shot of one another, 
and the advanced vedettes short musquet shot, with- 
out a Battle. Marmont, I think, certainly intended 
to fight, but his courage failed him. Our position 
is tolerable but very extensive, and we have thrown 
up some parapets to cover the Artillery. From the 
Enemy's lines they could not see our force, and 
could have but little idea either of its strength or 
disposition. I have not a doubt that we should 
have beat him, and shall now, whenever he chooses 

266 SALAMANCA [1812 

to fight us, even though joined by Bonnet from the 
Asturias, which an Officer of theirs, who deserted 
this morning, says they expect would be in two 
days, and that he was at Valladolid yesterday. 
But this is not believed generally, and he certainly 
shows no inclination to fight until he arrives. 

Some people say that it is a pity Lord Wn. did 
not attack him on the 20th before his reinforce- 
ments arrived, and when he was so near us. But I 
think Ld. Wn. knows what is right to do. He 
must to have attacked him given up the advantage 
of his position, and advanced along a plain a very 
great distance, without any cover, exposed to a 
heavy fire. He must have forced two Villages, 
and his loss would be much greater than by waiting 
for the enemy, and a very great victory to his army 
would almost be a defeat. For if this army gets 
crippled very much it cannot continue the operations. 
For my own part I feel perfect confidence in 
anything he decides upon, though I shall be glad of 
anything that will give us a few days rest, and I 
think we had better fight them here than further on. 

Our mode of life has been latterly extremely 
harassing. On the march up we turned out at 
3 a.m. and only marched part of the day. Latterly, 
as the Marshal has generally returned 5 or 6 miles 
to town, we usually rise at 1 a.m. and often, after 
either riding all day, or broiling in the sun, on a 
position, which has not a twig to defend us from 
the sun, or a drop of water but at a distance, we do 
not get anything to eat, or home till 9 or 10 at 
night, and rise again at one, so that we are all 
completely tired, and our faces so burnt that we 
cannot bear to touch them. The weather, however, 


has been very favourable, as there has always been 
a breeze. The mornings are very cold, but the 
whole army are extremely healthy, and I am quite 
well. I had hoped these vagabonds were off, and 
that we should have had a good night's sleep 
instead of 3 hours, but I suspect that we shall 
move as usual at one, and therefore took a nap this 

The Fort still holds out. Some 24-lber. 
Howitzers have fired with the 10 prs. against it, and 
a large part of the building of the Convent was 
knocked down, but the works are otherwise unim- 
paired. It was attempted to be stormed on the 
night of the 23rd but failed. We lost some Officers 
and about 150 men killed and wounded. Poor 
General Bowes, who was wounded at Badajos, is 
killed, I believe, and Sir George Colquhoun of the 
Queen's. The Commandant had been previously 
summoned to surrender, but, while the flag of truce 
was up, he answered that he had had a communica- 
tion from his army, and would listen to no proposals. 
I hope he will now be given no terms. He 
deserves to be cut to pieces with his Garrison, not 
for his obstinate defence of the Fort, that is right 
enough, but for his wanton and cruel barbarity in 
firing upon the town and killing or wounding 
several people, or for firing and defacing the 
beautiful Cathedral, one of the most magnificent 
works in Europe, without a shadow of utility, and 
from mere love of mischief. We have been obliged 
to desist from firing for want of ammunition, but I 
hope the day after to-morrow we shall have enough 
in, and, unless Mr Marmont can beat us before that, 
I think we shall knock the place about his ears. 

268 SALAMANCA [1812 

Their loss inside has already been very great we 
know, and if the fellow had only defended himself 
like a gentleman, everybody would have admired 
his defence. 

There seem great doubts whether or not 
Bonnet is coming up from the Asturias to join 
Marmont, though the deserters say he is, but, 
whether or no, I think we need be under no alarm 
for the result of a Battle. 

Soult is said to be advancing from the South, 
and Hill has taken up his old position at 
Albuera. . . . 

The Enemy in the villages they have entered 
have proceeded with their usual barbarity, unroofed 
and quite destroyed them de fond en comble. I 
could never give you an idea of the scenes we witness 
of misery and suffering, nor do I wish to attempt 
it. . . . 

Of your domestic news in England I say 
nothing. The Ministry, and a country, showing 
that they have lost that noble, generous spirit for 
which they were so remarkable, are not very 
cheering topics, and I am too much fagged to dwell 
on anything so disgusting. I wish we had some of 
the soi-disant Patriots here for a month. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

The Marshal is, thank God, perfectly well, and 
so is Ld. Wn., which, considering all his mind and 
body go through, is wonderful. 


Villa Escusa, Prov. of Toro, 
Juneyoth, 1812. 

My Dearest Father, 

Since I wrote to you on the 25th 
from Salamanca a very hasty letter, our military 
situation has altered very much, and you will see 
by the map that we are already two marches in 
advance. The Forts at Salamanca, which had 
given us more trouble than was at first expected, 
were taken on the morning of the 27th. On the 
evening of the 26th, our Reserve Ammunition 
having arrived, a battery was opened against the 
rear of the advanced Fort of St Catano with 
excellent effect, and the Convent of St Vicente, in 
the principal Fort, was set on fire by red hot shot, 
but as night came on, and the breach in St Catano 
was not practicable, the firing ceased from the 
Batteries till morning. The enemy kept up their 
fire with great briskness the whole evening, but we 
lost very few men. In the morning the firing was 
renewed, and when we returned from the position 
with Ld. Welln., it was found that the breach in the 
outwork was practicable, and the Convent in a 
famous blaze. The Garrison appeared cowed and 
in considerable confusion and fired very little. 
The morning had been rainy and unpleasant, but 
towards 10 o'clock it cleared and everything was 
ready for the assault, when the enemy sent out 
several flags of Truce, but it appeared that they 
only wanted to gain time and perhaps put out the 
fire. They asked 3 hours to consider it, but as we 
had no time to lose, the Fort was attacked, and 

270 SALAMANCA [1812 

surrendered with very little resistance, and was 
taken possession of by our troops. We had only 
one man killed, and 5 or 6 wounded, even at the 
points assaulted, and our people behaved with their 
usual humanity to the enemy. We found these 
Forts a great deal stronger than we had any idea 
of, with deep ditches, the whole faced with strong 
masonry, the stones for which they took from 
about a 3rd of the town and some of the most 
beautiful buildings which they had pulled down to 
make an Esplanade round their works. They also 
had excellent casements and splinter proofs, and 
but for the circumstance of the place being on fire, 
they did not appear to have any more reason to 
surrender now, as far as their works went, than 
the first day. 

The enemy had between 5 and 600 men in them, 
and the Commandant who did his duty very well, 
and is a fine young man enough, told me they had 
3 Officers killed, 1 1 wounded, 40 men killed and 
about 140 wounded during the siege. They had 
mounted 29 guns and 7 Howitzers ; a large quantity 
of ammunition and stores of all descriptions for 
their whole army, clothing, provisions, etc. 

The flames gained so fast that it was impos- 
sible to extinguish them, and it was feared that the 
Magazine would blow up. The wounded were 
therefore removed as quickly as possible, and 
some of the stores that evening, and nobody 
allowed to go near it. It, however, fortunately did 
not explode, and all that was not burnt has been 
removed, and proper Officers have been left com- 
pletely to demolish the Forts. 

The capture of these Forts was of the greatest 


consequence, as they most completely commanded 
the bridge over the Tormes, and gave the enemy, 
in case of any accident, a nearer way to cross than 
we had by the Fords ; besides opening a direct and 
easier communication for our provisions, etc. 

On the 27th, next morning as the day broke, we 
found that Marmont had retired, and on advancing 
about two leagues to reconnoitre him with the 
Cavalry, we came up with his rear-guard near 
Pitiegna, who retired on our approach. The 
enemy seemed to take the road to Valladolid, 
retiring rapidly. Yesterday our whole army 
advanced in three columns, the advance guard to 
Aldea Nueva de Figueroa and Parada de Rubiales, 
and the army to near the little stream of Orbada, 
at which place were Ld. Wellington's Hd. Qrs., and 
ours at Pajares. 

To-day the army has again advanced to the 
River Guarena, the left at Fuente Sanco, and 
advance at Guaratte. 

Ld. Wn.'s Hd. Qrs. are at Fuenta da Capefia, the 
right of the army near Castrillo, and our Hd. Qrs. 
at this place. 

The whole army continue healthy and in high 
spirits. We have only seen the enemy's posts at a 
distance, and their army, it appears to have crossed 
the Douro, over which they have destroyed all the 
bridges except those of Toro and Zamorra. It is 
impossible to know what Ld. Wn.'s intentions are. 
The position at Toro is very strong, and 6 leagues 
from hence. 

General D' Urban with about 1000 P. Cavalry 
are manoeuvring in rear of the enemy, and the 
Galician Army under Santo Cildes is also at 

272 VILLA ESCUSA [1812 

Astorga trying to take the French Fort, or 
advanced on their rear. He has, I believe, about 
15,000 men. 

Mina and Longa's Guerillas and Mendiz- 
abels Corps are near Burgos or Valladolid. 
Therefore the enemy will find himself assez reserrd, 
but whether Lord W. intends to force his position, 
or to manoeuvre to make him quit it without an 
action, it is, I believe, known to himself, the Marshal, 
and Sir T. Graham alone. We feel quite confident 
in what he may think proper, and a day or two 
will show. I do not think he will fight if he can do 
without. But if he does, I have no doubt we shall 
beat them most completely. 

In Estremadura Drouet, finding General Hill 
steady, has retired from Villa Franca, and our people 
have moved forward to Sta. Martha, etc., etc. 
Nothing can exceed the joy of all classes of the 
people of this country at their delivery from their 
insolent oppressors. For two nights after the 
Fort was taken they were dancing and singing all 
night in almost every street (which were illuminated), 
nothing was heard but the tabor and pipe and 
castanets. Next morning there was a grand Te 
Deum in the Cathedral, and the town gave a ball 
in the evening, to which, however, not many 
Officers went, as it began at 10, and we were to 
march at \ past 3, and had not had 4 hours' sleep 
(at least Staff Officers) any night since the 19th, so 
that we were very glad to get some rest. 

I amongst others did not go. I never was in 
better health in my life notwithstanding the really 
harassing, fatiguing time we have had latterly for 
mind and body. The weather has fortunately not 


been very hot, and we have had a constant breeze, 
or I scarce know what we should have done on that 
scorching hill all day without shelter of any descrip- 
tion, or water. . . . 

I hear Admiral Martin is coming to Lisbon to 
supersede the Berkeleys. I think you know him, 
or that my Uncles do. He can be sometimes 
very useful to me, and I therefore wish you would 
continue to have me strongly recommended to him. 
The old administration continuing in has astonished 
us not a little. I should hardly think it could 
stand. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

We look anxiously towards Russia, and I hope 
they will not fight a general action but retire and 
draw the Tyrant on. If they fight they will be 
beat, I fear. 

The Marshal and Lord Wn. are perfectly well, 
which I wonder at, for they have scarce a moment's 
rest for mind and body. Sir T. Graham has equally 
not had a moment quiet, and I am sorry to say had 
a painful disorder in one of his eyes. He is one of 
the most excellent, worthy men I know anywhere, 
and like Hill beloved by everybody. Ferguson is 
arrived at Lisbon, and I am sorry to say has been 
unwell. I saw Genl. Leith to-day quite well. He 
desired to be most kindly remembered to you, as 
do Le Marchant, Hardinge, Douglas, and the 

274 LA SECA [1812 

La Seca, Provce. of Valladolid, 
July 7 th y 1812. 

My Dear Father, 

Since I wrote to you on the 30th 
from Villa Escusa the Enemy have gradually 
retired, and the Allied Army have occupied on the 
1 st a bivouac on the River Trabancos with Head 
Quarters at Alaejos, and on the 2nd it moved 
towards the river Zapardiel, with the right at 
Medina del Campo, and the left extending towards 
Torrecilla, while Lord Wellington moved himself 
with the Cavalry Light Division and Pack's Portu- 
guese Brigade, supported by the 3rd Divn. and the 
Spanish Infantry and Bradford's P. Bge., on Rueda, 
to induce the Enemy to cross the Douro at Tor- 
desillas, while the main body of the Army moved 
parallel to it so as to threaten their communication 
with Madrid. At Rueda we came up with the 
Enemy's rear-guard, and a sharp skirmish and 
cannonade took place in which the Enemy lost 
considerably owing to not bringing up their guns 
till very late in the day, and our loss was only a 
few horses. They gradually retired, and as we 
gained the high ground between Rueda and 
Tordesillas, we could distinctly see the greater part 
of the Enemy's army formed in large massive 
Columns covered by their Cavalry preparing to 
cross the River, which they did in the course of the 
day without Ld. Welln. being able to interrupt them, 
as he had only his Cavalry and advance guard up. 
In the evening he took up his Hd. Qrs. at Villa 
Verde, and the Marshal at Nava del Rey. 


The Army has been nearly in the same posi- 
tions ever since, but on the 4th he moved to Rueda 
and the Marshal to this place (La Seca). The 
troops are placed so as to watch the different fords 
of the Douro, and be ready to move at once in any 
direction circumstances may require, and are 
extremely healthy and in high spirits. 

The 3rd Division and Spaniards under Don 
Carlos d'Espanhana are near Polios on the Douro 
watching the Fords. 

On the 3rd Ld. Wn. and the Marshal made a 
reconnaissance on them with some cavalry and that 
Division. The Enemy had 5 Battns. and some 
cavalry, which on being cannonaded retired to the 
heights behind the Fords, and some of our people 
got over and have since established themselves on 
the other side. They returned our fire very briskly 
but with no effect, as their shot all fell short, and 
we have very few men hurt by the skirmishing. 

The Enemy appear to have concentrated their 
force on Valladolid, leaving some strong Corps on 
the Douro to watch us, and sometimes patrolling 
to about 2 leagues from this on the river Adaja. I 
do not think they are yet in force to undertake 
anything against us, and Ld. Welln.'s plans are too 
well kept to himself for it to be possible for any one 
to guess what they may be. I think, if we advance, 
the enemy will fight us. I have not a doubt of the 
result, in the state of their army, whose morale 
appears gone. But how far Ld. W. may think 
right to risk an action is quite another question. 
Though the harvest is extremely abundant this 
year, it is not yet ready. Deserters report that 
they are much distressed for provisions at Valla- 

276 LA SECA [1812 

dolid. If this is true (which I doubt), Lord Wn. 
perhaps intends to force them back by waiting 
patiently till they have exhausted what they have. 
But these are all speculations without much data, 
and Ld. Welln.'s despatch may give you better 
grounds to conjecture upon than I can. 

The Country, through which we have marched 
from Salamanca, is extremely fertile and well culti- 
vated, producing abundance of corn of all descrip- 
tions, sometimes in one year for the consumption of 
three, and this year the crops are remarkably fine, 
though much has been consumed and more destroyed 
uselessly by both armies. The country on this 
side of Villa Escusa produces mostly wine, and the 
whole face of the country is covered with vineyards, 
which give it a very rich appearance in general. 
The country is flat and quite open, almost totally 
without trees, and not much water. From the 
want of the two latter our troops have suffered 
considerably, for the weather, though far from so 
hot as Portugal, has been hot to people marching 
and obliged to be always exposed to it. We have 
had a very harassing, fatiguing life of it since we 
left Guinaldo, and are much the better for the few 
days' rest we have had here. The towns in this 
part of Spain are generally very large, clean, and 
populous. The houses particularly neat. Nothing 
can exceed the joy and acclamations with which the 
Army is everywhere received by all classes. That 
there are many traitors I believe, but that the joy 
of the greater part is sincere it is impossible to 
doubt. Nothing can have been more oppressive or 
insolent than the conduct of the French for the last 
4 years. They levied enormous and repeated con- 


tributions upon the people, at the same time that 
they deprived them in kind of the means of paying 
them. Military executions and coercion followed 
of course, and all its miseries. It will scarcely be 
believed that even at this moment they have several 
of the principal Ladies and inhabitants of this large 
town prisoners at Tordesillas as hostages for the 
payment of some of their requisitions. 

While writing, Mr Bertie of the 12th Lt. Dns. 
has brought me a letter of introduction from you, 
and on every account, both as the Admiral's son 
and from your letter, I shall be most happy to have 
it in my power to show him any kindness or civility. 
He is a very fine lad and quite well. We yesterday 
received letters and papers to the 19th. . . . 

From circumstances that have occurred I am no 
longer so anxious about the Majority of Infantry, 
unless with the certainty of returning to the 
Cavalry. The other situations are indeed desirable, 
if not beyond my reach, but many considerations 
have now determined me otherwise to remain in the 
Cavalry. Lt.-Genl. Sir T. Graham left the Army 
yesterday for England to consult the best advice 
about a disorder in one of his eyes. I fear it is a 
bad case. He is regretted by everybody and the 
Army as a most excellent zealous soldier, and a 
most amiable worthy man. I know none I have a 
higher respect and veneration for. Yrs., etc., - 

Wm. Warre. 

278 LA SECA [1812 

Extract from Letter to Sister. 

La Seca, July 10, 1812. 

It is a terrible thing to be tanned by the sun. 
I have been half grilled for the last month, which 
has cost my nose and lips a great deal of flesh. It 
is expensive on the score of skin, but it is in a good 
cause, and my nose suffers like a martyr. It has 
completely spoiled all complexions, and made us 
like hideous creatures. I shall not burn your 
letters — if my baggage should be taken, the French 
will derive great amusement from them, and being 
of Political importance we shall have them in the 
Moniteur with notes ! I have no news to tell you 
of the Army. The French are on one side of the 
river, and we are on the other. Both parties are 
very civil to each other, and both seem on the qui 
vive for fear the other should cross and attack him. 
It is comical enough to see hostile troops quietly 
watering their horses, or washing, within 30 or 40 
yards of each other, like perfect good friends. We 
are forbid to talk to them for fear of spoiling our 
French, and are therefore highly profuse in bows 
and dumbshow. I hate the very sight of the 
villains, but it is no use for either party to annoy 
the other when nothing is to be gained by it. 

We are quartered in a very nice town, about two 
leagues from the river, where the people are very 
civil to us. I am quite well, though much thinner 
for our marching, and I do not believe that anybody 
is sorry for the week's quiet halt we have had. 


La Seca, July 13, 1812. 

My Dear Father, 

I have to thank you for your letter 
of the 17 ultmo. and your very interesting com- 
munications on the domestic politics of the country, 
and also for the printed correspondence. Your 
letter, etc., did not arrive till by last packet, and 
should have done so by the former, and I there- 
fore had seen all these dicussions between parties in 
the newspapers, and the only conclusion I have 
drawn is that there is no public spirit in any party. 
Each acts from its own particular prejudice, or 
party spirit, and they care little about the country, 
unless they can serve it exactly in their own way. 
I am glad of anything that saves us from a Grenville 
administration, and am therefore not sorry the 
present Ministry have been continued, though I 
have not much confidence in them, and should have 
preferred one that included Ld. Wellesley. The 
first measures of this administration plainly say, we 
have not strength to act up to our own principles 
in certain leading questions. We will therefore act 
contrary to our principles to keep our places. This 
appears to be the real state of the case, though as 
to the measures themselves to which I refer, except 
with regard to the Americans, I hope great good 
from them, but though most decidedly for the 
admission of the Catholics to all rights we possess 
ourselves, I am not for granting them one bit more. 
Their Church in temporal matters must be sub- 
ordinate to the King. The King's rights with 
regard to the rejection or nomination of their 

280 LA SECA [1812 

Bishops must be the same as our own, and 
which is nearly the same as in Portugal, Spain, 
France (formerly), and almost every other Roman 
Catholic country. None of those countries ever 
thought of a clergy independent of the crown, or 
that the Pope had any power whatever in the 
Temporal arrangements of any kingdom. The 
Consistory (Claustro) assembled at Salamanca on 
this very subject of Irish Emancipation in, I think, 
1789, declared that any country which admitted 
such a principle would be a traitor to itself, of what- 
ever sect the Sovereign might be, Protestant or 
Catholic. If therefore the R. C. of Ireland insist 
on greater rights and liberties, in their religious 
liberty, than the rest of their fellow subjects possess, 
or object to the veto (at least) in the King, I shall 
strongly suspect that they have other purposes in 
their discontent, and shall think any concession 

We continue here much in the same state as 
when I wrote to you last week. Since then the 
enemy have been joined by Bonnet from the 
Asturias with about 4 to 5000 men, but do not 
show at present any disposition to attack us. They 
have manoeuvred a good deal. Indeed they seem 
to keep their people in constant motion. Till lately 
they seemed to be drawing everything to their right 
towards Toro, and the position of our troops was 
altered from perpendicular to parallel to the Douro, 
the 5 and 6 Dns. moving to Nava del Rey, the 4th 
to Foncastin. The 3rd and Spaniards continue at 
Polios, and the 1st and 7th at Medina del Campo, 
the advance guard and Lt. Cavalry at Rueda and 
this place, and our Picquets watch the fords of the 


Douro and of the Adaja. Yesterday morning we 
saw a large column of about 4000 returning towards 
Tordesillas, from whence they had marched the 
evening before towards the fords at Herreros and 
Torresilla de la Abadessa, but to what end all 
this marching and countermarching of theirs can be, 
I cannot guess. If they mean to harass us they 
do not succeed, for though we narrowly watch 
every movement they make, Ld. Wn. is not easily 
humbugged, and lets them wear out their shoes as 
much they please without disturbing his army. 

The enemy's Hd. Qrs. are, I believe, at 
Tordesillas, where they have one or two Divisions, 
1 at Simancas, 1 opposite Polios and Herreros, 1 at 
Toro. In short they extend along the river from 
Simancas to Toro, and have their reserves and 
Depot at Valladolid. As to the exact disposition 
of their troops it is impossible to say, as they are 
continually moving. 

I believe the whole Army would rejoice if they 
would cross the River and attack us, as I am quite 
confident we should beat them, though they have 
80 pieces of cannon. Their Cavalry is much 
inferior to ours in every respect, and they have such 
want of horses that they have taken all the Infantry 
officers' horses to mount their cavalry, and which 
has given great disgust, and would, I should think, 
benefit them very little. 

What Lord Wn.'s plans are I cannot even 
guess. He is best informed and best able to 
decide what is best. We must therefore quietly 
wait the event, and, in the healthy state and high 
spirits of the army, we have little to fear for the 
I result. 

282 LA SECA [1812 

I do not doubt much that he is waiting for Santo 
Cildes with the Galician army, who are besieg- 
ing the Fort at Astorga, to advance and co-operate 
with him previous to any movement on our part. 
But this is only guess. I am surprised that the 
French, who have, I believe, nearly equal numbers, 
do not attack us before this co-operation can take 
place, particularly as they do not seem to expect 
any further reinforcements. 

Our posts on the river continue very near each 
other, very amicably, and literally nothing has been 
done by posts of any consequence since I wrote to 
you. The account I sent you was of the Portu- 
guese Army only, and it has since rather increased, 
as we have left sick and wounded. 

The enemy have also some posts at Villa 
Nueva and Puente de Douro and on the river 

With regard to the purchase of the majority of 
Infantry, as I had purchased my Troop, the purchase 
of a majority of Infantry required no advance. On 
the contrary, by the regulation there would be a 
surplus of ^500, and my intention was to have 
remained in the Infantry for some time at least. 
But other considerations have since decided me not 
to go into the Infantry at all, except I got a per- 
manent Staff situation, or was quite sure of returning 
to the Cavalry immediately. I do not quite agree 
that the command of a Portuguese Battn. would be 
much less eligible than my present situation, as far 
as the means of distinguishing myself goes, as I 
should then have a positive command and responsi- 
bility, and now have, nor can have, neither, and it 


must at last come to that, or to my joining my 
British Regiment. . . . Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

A very dreadful accident happened at Salamanca 
since we left it. A very large quantity of powder 
which had been taken in the Fort and was deposited 
in the Town caught fire and blew up, in con- 
sequence of the folly of a Spanish Officer, who was 
guarding it, smoking. Two streets were, I hear, 
almost totally destroyed. The whole guard and 
upwards of ioo Spaniards (inhabitants) killed and 
wounded, and some soldiers. The town was other- 
wise very much damaged and all the windows broke, 
and in the greatest confusion, as everybody fled 
into the country, many en chemise, it having 
happened at 8 o'clock in the morning. It happened 
very near one of our hospitals, but fortunately killed 
very few of our sick or wounded. The weather 
has latterly been exceedingly hot, and it is very 
fortunate that we have not been moving, as our 
people are suffering a good deal from want of wood 
and water. 

July \Afth. — By an intercepted mail from Paris 
to Madrid which was taken by Longa, who killed 
the 400 men who escorted it except 12, who, he 
says, did not show so strong an inclination to leave 
their bodies there, we have Moniteurs to the 24th, 
by which it appears that Boney was arrived at 
Konigsberg. Amongst a great many letters, 
amatory, friendly, etc., there is one from the Spanish 
Ambassador at St Petersburg, who describes the 
state of the Russian Armies as very formidable 
and in excellent order — both on the frontiers of 

284 SALAMANCA [1812 

Poland and Turkey. The Emperor and Romanzow 
without any boasting, he says, are quietly deter- 
mined to try the event. They wish to settle matters 
with Napoleon amicably if possible, but will not 
even hear of the Commercial system. All the 
letters complain of not hearing from their friends in 
Spain, and of the frequent interception of the mails 
by the Guerillas. Adieu — we have nothing new 
with this Army. I am well. 

Salamanca, July 24, 181 2. 
My Dear F'ather, 

I have very, very great pleasure in 
communicating to you one of the most decisive and 
complete victories that was ever gained by the 
valour and intrepidity of our brave troops, but 
alas ! my exultation and joy are not without great 
diminution, for our brave and excellent Marshal is 
severely wounded, as well as a great many of our 
brave Generals, but for none of course can I feel as 
I do for our worthy Marshal. It is, however, 
though painful and severe, not certainly a danger- 
ous wound, and this country, as well as his own, 
will, I trust, be only temporarily deprived of his 
most necessary services and example. 

We have been terribly harassed since the 16th, 
day and night, owing to Marmont having crossed 
the Douro by a skilful movement upon Toro, at 
which place he sent a force across, and drew our 
army to that neighbourhood, and then by a forced 
march returned and crossed at Tordesillas, and 
immediately commenced his manoeuvres to turn 
the right flank of our army, which forced Lord 


Wellington gradually to fall back successively 
behind the Guarena and Tormes. 

On the 1 8th our army made a forward move- 
ment towards Alaejos and Nava again, but, the Lt. 
Division coming up with the enemy at Castrejon, 
a sharp cannonade and skirmishing took place, 
and the direction of the Army was altered to 
the direction of Torrecilla de la Orden, as the 
enemy seemed determined to move round our 
flank. (It is necessary to observe that we had 
retired the night before to Fuente La Pena, 
Castrello, and Canizal, in consequence of the 
enemy having crossed at Toro, and were at this time 
advancing, having heard that he had recrossed again 
and was at Nava and Alaejos.) Several Divisions 
were ordered up, and all the Cavalry to support 
the Lt. Division, but finding the enemy in great 
force and the ground offering no position, we were 
forced to retire under a heavy cannonade, which 
they renewed again as they gained the heights 
above the river Guarena. But our loss was very 
trifling indeed considering. Towards evening the 
enemy endeavoured to move round our left flank 
with two Divisions, and sent a Brigade to attack a 
height on which our left rested, but they were 
charged most gallantly by the 27th and 40th, 
supported by the nth and 23rd Portuguese, and 
completely routed, paying us with great interest 
for our losses. They lost upwards of 500 men, of 
which we took 130 prisoners. The Marshal was 
at this time slightly wounded by a grape shot in 
the thigh, but very slightly, and we had one Officer 
killed and about 150 to 160 men killed and wounded. 
I do not know what our loss was in the whole day. 

286 SALAMANCA [1812 

On the evening of the 19th we saw the whole of 
the enemy's army in march to turn our right 
apparently, and the disposition of our army was 
altered to La Vallesa, where the next day both 
armies were at daybreak close together, and a battle 
seemed inevitable. Lord Wellington began to form 
on a perfect plan to receive them, and they never 
had a finer opportunity, but though their whole 
force seemed to threaten destruction to our right, 
they suddenly moved off by their left along some 
heights, and Lord Wellington moved his army, in 
order of Battle, in two lines, along the plain and 
halted at night between Cabe^a Vellozo and 
Pitiegna, our people much harassed and fatigued, as 
the heat was incessant, and no water hardly to be 
found. But I suppose there never was a more 
interesting or beautiful sight than that of two 
hostile armies of upwards of 35,000 men each mov- 
ing parallel within a mile and a half of each other 
and often within cannon range. 

On the 2 1 st our army was forced to cross the 
Tormes, by Marmont's moving round it, and took 
up a position at night to cover Salamanca, our left 
to the Tormes, our right to some isolated heights 
in rear of Calbaraza de Ariba and beyond Na. 
Senora de la Pefia, the enemy moving to the 
woods nearly \ way between Alva de Tormes and 
Calbarasa, having crossed at En^ina. During 
all these days there was a great deal of skirmishing 
and cannonading on both sides, and we were all 
greatly harassed and fatigued, having scarce time 
to rest or eat, and on horseback all day long, and 
the troops suffered much from the excessive heat 
and almost incessant marching. 


On the forever glorious 22nd we found the 
enemy at daybreak in our front, but at a distance, 
and some skirmishing took place about a hill they 
had got in our front, which it was as well that we 
should have. It was, however, strongly supported 
by them, and Lord Welln. did not think it worth 
while to lose many lives in retaking it, and our 
people were ordered to withdraw. 

As the morning advanced the enemy got 
possession, before our people could, of a very strong 
and commanding height which was on our right, 
and as they continued to move in that direction the 
position of our army was altered, and we every 
instant expected to be attacked, as the enemy had 
the finest opportunity during this change of position. 
But it was ordained otherwise by that great and 
merciful Disposer of all events, and we remained 
quiet till a little before 4 in the evening, when the 
enemy opened a most tremendous cannonade upon 
our whole line from, I should guess, upwards of 50 
pieces of cannon, and soon after pushed forward a 
crowd of sharpshooters, it should appear, however, 
only to insult our army, as they were not supported, 
and the heavy columns they had on the hills did 
not move forward. I suppose that Monr. Marmont, 
with French insolence, thought, because we had 
not attacked him before, and had moved back to 
counter manoeuvre him and to avoid being turned, 
that we were afraid of him, and that he could thus 
insult us with impunity, but retribution was at 
hand, and before sunset he was doomed to pay 
most dearly for his impertinence by the entire ruin 
of his army and loss of at least J of it. 

About 5 o'clock Lord Wellington ordered our 

288 SALAMANCA [1812 

lines to advance, having previously detailed the 3rd 
Division and all our Cavalry to turn the enemy's left. 

The Army moved forward most gallantly under 
a heavy cannonade to the attack of the heights on 
which the enemy was posted, at the same time 
that Major General Pakenham with the 3rd Div. 
attacked the height on their left and succeeded in 
forcing it notwithstanding the enemy's obstinate 
resistance, and afterwards advanced along their line, 
completely doubling it up, as the rest of the army 
advanced in its front. As we came near, they 
kept up a most galling fire of grape and musquetry 
on our line, and in many places stood most gallantly, 
but it was impossible to resist the steady though 
impetuous advance of our brave troops, which no 
loss can make waver or delay, and they were soon 
driven from their first position to a second behind 
the right of it, which, our troops being reformed, 
was successively attacked, and at last carried, not- 
withstanding our people being sometimes repulsed 
by the gallant charges of the enemy and the heavy 
fire of Artillery to which they were exposed in 

It was near sunset, and in endeavouring to 
make a Portuguese Brigade charge the enemy, 
(who were driving the 4th Division back with 5 
Bns.) in flank, that our excellent Marshal was 
wounded, while exerting himself, as he always does 
with the greatest zeal and gallantry, and by his 
noble example, to cover the 4th Divn. by this flank 
charge. But they soon rallied and regained the 
ground they had lost by the sudden attack of the 
enemy, and the heights were retaken just as the 
Marshal was hit. 


I was obliged to quit the field with him, and 
with some difficulty got him to the rear, and to 
this place at 1 1 at night, after having his wounds 
drest on the road. 

The battle, however, continued with unabated 
fury till late in the evening, and the enemy fought 
at last from despair, but pursued with undiminished 
ardour by our troops, notwithstanding the fatigue 
they had gone through. They at last broke and 
fled in all directions in the most compleat confusion 
and dismay, followed by our people, who only halted 
for the night at two leagues beyond the field in 
which the battle commenced, and next day, yester- 
day, Lord Wellington continued the pursuit with 
10,000 men to near Pefiazanda, where the enemy 
had taken up a position. Several partial engage- 
ments have taken place since, in which both our 
Cavalry and Infantry have constantly routed the 
enemy, who now desert to us in hundreds every 

Marmont is said to have died of his wound. 
We know he had lost an arm. 

The enemy have left upwards, I hear, of 5000 
dead on the field on these three days. We have 
taken 1 General, 2 Eagles, 2 Standards, 20 guns, 
and near 6000 prisoners, but this as well as our loss, 
which is computed at 3000 killed and wounded, 
(but a very large proportion of General Officers) I 
tell you from hearsay, as I have not been able to 
leave the Marshal since, and the Gazette will tell 
you better, but I believe it to be nearly true. Of 
the Prisoners, 4000 and odd hundred have been sent 
off from hence to the rear, and 1 500 were taken in 
one bunch by the 4th Dragoons, or Heavy Germans, 


290 SALAMANCA [1812 

yesterday evening, and I should think I do not 
exaggerate at all in stating the loss of the French 
at from 15 to 16,000 men. There never was a 
more compleat rout. They are flying in all 
directions, and either come or are brought in in 
hundreds at a time. I am much annoyed at being 
here at such a moment, but more a thousand times 
at the cause. 

I need say nothing in praise of the allied troops : 
their conduct and the event speaks stronger in 
their favour than any words of mine could. Our 
Cavalry constantly charged their Infantry and 
Cavalry, and upset everything that opposed them. 
I am very sorry indeed to tell you that poor 
General Le Marchant was killed charging at the 
Head of his Brigade with his usual gallantry and 
judgment. He is universally regretted, and in him 
the service has lost one of its best Cavalry Officers. 
I feel very much for his unfortunate young family 
now left without father or mother. 

Generals Leith, Cole, Sir Stapleton Cotton, are 
also here wounded but not dangerously, and Maj.- 
General Victor Allen badly. We hear that 
Marmont is dead of his wounds. It is, I believe, 
certain that he lost an arm, which makes this likely. 
Nearly the whole of the enemy's Baggage was 
taken by the Portuguese 3 Regts. of Cavalry under 
D' Urban, who behaved very well indeed, and twice 
charged the enemy's Infantry, and once their 
Cavalry, with compleat success, and the General 
speaks in the highest terms of them. 

I mentioned that we remained quiet all day 
nearly till 4 o'clock, but it was not so, as there was 
a great deal of skirmishing and cannonading at 


times. The battle made me forget, I suppose, all 
the rest. 

I am very well. I was nearly knocked up by 
the constant fatigue and exposure to the sun, but 
the victory set me nearly right again, and the rest 
we have had here the last two days entirely so. I 
cannot be enough grateful to Almighty God for 
his infinite goodness and protection for the last 
fortnight, and particularly during the hard fought 
battle, but I escaped very well with two shots on 
my sword scabbard, and one thro' my holster, which 
is as near as I ever wish to have them. 

The Marshal is quite free from fever, and doing 
as well as possible. The ball entered the side 
below the left breast, and, slanting round the 
external part of the ribs, was cut out at the back 
about 4 inches below. The bone is not supposed 
to be injured at all, and it is thought that the ball 
went round it thro' the muscles. His wound in the 
thigh, which was very slight, is nearly quite well. 

Being separated from Hd. Qrs. we find great 
difficulty in sending our letters, and I much fear 
may miss the Officer who is to carry the despatches 
... I wrote a few lines to . . . and sent them off 
yesterday to take their chance of finding him still at 
Hd. Qrs. I should also have written to you, but 
that I have not been able to leave the Marshal a 
moment, and am now writing close to him, and 
constantly interrupted, which will, I hope, excuse 
this incoherent epistle. 

General Leith is doing very well indeed, and it 
is now found that the ball has not hurt the elbow 
joint. Of all our other friends I dare say nothing, 
for all I know is from hearsay, and may be wrong, 

292 SALAMANCA [1812 

and of those that are hurt the Gazette will too soon 
give the distressing account. 

I saw Ferguson the 21st. He was quite well. 
I have not heard of him since, but I hope that he is 
not hurt. The Guards have, I hear, lost very few 
Officers. I only know of a Mr White of the 3rd 
Guards Lt. Company being wounded. 

25M. — The Marshal continues to go on as 
well as possible and has no fever. Generals Leith, 
Cotton, Cole, also are doing well. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

Lord Wellington is continuing the pursuit of 
the enemy, who are retiring in great confusion. 
He was shot thro' his Cloak and Holsters during 
the action, but, thank God, not hurt. 

Salamanca, July 27, 1812. 

My Dear Father, 

I wrote to you on the 24th an account 
of the most glorious and decisive battle of the 22nd, 
and also telling you of our worthy Marshal being 
severely wounded. I am now most happy to be 
able to assure you that he is very much better, and 
doing as well as possible, is quite free from fever, 
and has kept very well. The ball does not appear 
to have touched the ribs, but to have gone round 
the muscles of the side. Lord Wellington has con- 
tinued the pursuit of the enemy, who has retired in 
great confusion, and his Lordship was yesterday at 
Aldea Seca. Joseph Buonaparte had advanced to 
reinforce Marmont, but hearing of his disaster had 
retired, not before we had taken one of his Picquets. 


I have not yet seen any return of the loss on 
either side. I believe ours to be between 3 and 
4000 killed and wounded. Poor Le Marchant, whose 
son has just left me to return to England, was 
killed charging most gallantly at the head of his 
Brigade, and is a great loss to the Service (as he 
was an excellent Officer), and to his numerous 
family, who are now without father or mother. I 
pity them from my soul. Sir Stapleton Cotton, 
Genls. Leith, Cole, and Victor Allen, who are here, 
are doing very well. Leith's wound is a severe one 
through his arm obliquely, but it has not broken 
the bone. His nephew Leith Hay is wounded, not 
badly, through the leg. The town is full of wounded 
Officers, who are mostly doing very well indeed. 
Poor Antonio de Lacerda's son died, and he is him- 
self here wounded. The son was a remarkably fine 
gallant lad, and the poor father is in great affliction. 

The Enemy continue their retreat towards 
Madrid. We calculate their total loss at 15,000. 
We have 2 Generals, 2 Eagles, 2 Standards, 19 
guns, and upwards of 6000 prisoners, and from the 
appearance of the field of battle, I should suppose 
they had left 1500 to 2000 dead on the field besides 
what they lost after they retired from their last 
position, and in the subsequent pursuit, in which 
they have been followed up very close, and com- 
pleatly routed whenever our advance has been able 
to come up with their rear-guard. Marmont, 
Bonnet, Clauzel, Thornier, are said to be badly 
wounded, besides Carriere and Gravier wounded 
and taken. The latter, I believe, is dead since. 

Owing to the Army having advanced and the 
few means of transport, many of the wounded, 

294 SALAMANCA [1812 

particularly of the French, have suffered horribly, 
for, three days after, I saw a great many still lying, 
who had received no assistance or were likely to 
till next day, and had lain scorching in the sun 
without a drop of water or the least shade. It was 
a most dreadful sight. These are the horrid 
miseries of war. No person who has not witnessed 
them can possibly form any idea of what they are. 
Humanity shudders at the very idea, and we turn 
with detestation and disgust to the sole author of 
such miseries. What punishment can be sufficient 
for him ! Many of the poor wretches have crawled 
to this. Many made crutches of the barrels of the 
firelocks and their shoes. Cruel and villainous as 
they are themselves, and even were during the 
action to our people, one cannot help feeling for 
them and longing to be able to assist them. But 
our own people have suffered almost as much, and 
they are our first care. 

I am very well and have quite recovered the 
fatigue we went through for several days, but I am 
most happy that the Marshal is doing so well. 
During the action I escaped quite providentially, as 
I have 4 a shot through my holster and two on my 
sword scabbard, but as long as they keep at that 
distance I shall be very well satisfied. 

I think we shall remain here quietly for some 
weeks. Indeed I do not think Ld. Wn. can pursue 
them much further, as they are moving back upon 
their reinforcements, and have the strong passes of 
Guadalajara in their rear, and, besides that, our 
troops must have some rest, having been so much 
harassed lately. 

What may be the consequences of this splendid 


victory it is not easy to say. They must be very 
great, for we have never gained a more decisive or 
more compleat one, or followed it up so rapidly. I 
think it must bring Soult up from the South and 
raise the siege of Cadiz. Marmont's Army is quite 
crippled for a time, having lost all its baggage and 
so many guns and men. They were joined by about 
1 500 Cavalry and some guns the Evening of the 
Action, which were beat next day. 

Young Cowell is here unwell, but not wounded, 
and is getting well fast. I shall take care of him. 
The Guards were scarcely engaged and have lost 
few men and no Officer that I have heard of. My 
friend Jackson is quite well. Pray, if any Officer 
should be coming to the Army, send me 2 lb. of good 
black Tea. It will be a great treat. Yrs., etc., 

Wm. Warre. 

Molloy was taken for a minute by the French 
Cavalry, but got off. I am very anxious to hear if 
you have done anything about the appointment I 
mentioned to the Cape. This action has confirmed 
my opinion that we may be shot at all day and 
exert ourselves as much as we please, [but accord- 
ing to the] proverb, " It is a bad thing to be second 
fiddles to a second fiddle." 

Extract from Letter to Sister 

Salamanca, Aug. 19th, 18 12. 
While you were amusing yourself with quizzing 
your brother Wm. and abusing him for not being 

296 SALAMANCA [1812 

in love with Honour and Glory, I was straining my 
arms to reach one little leaf of the laurel tree, 
which, to a fanciful imagination, is considered a 
sort of introduction to those gentlemen. Lo! 
while you and . . . were trembling at the rolling 
of the thunderstorm, and . . . thinking of Honour 
and Glory, I was amused by an equally loud though 
less innocent storm from about 70 pieces of cannon, 
of which 50 belonged to the adverse gods who 
fulminated us for 7 hours, as hard as they could, 
and with malice prepense, but with very little effect 
except the effect of the sublime, of which there was 
a good deal, for I think it combined so much of 
beauty and grandeur and Awe that certainly 
Edmund Burke would have classed it with the 
sublime. As for Beauty, ca va sans dire. You 
cannot think how beautiful it is to be cannonaded 
all day, being very tired and hungry, and at 5 p.m. 
instead of setting to to eat a good dinner, to set to 
to give the French a good beating in a very strong 
position, which, however, is the best part of the 
whole divertissement, and though Ld. Welln. 
naturally got all the Laurels, it was a most glorious 
business, and would almost put even me in conceit 
with Honor and Glory. . . . 

Since then we have been very peaceably settled 
here, and the Marshal recovering very fast from 
the delightful effects of Honor and Glory. I 
rather expect in a few days we shall leave this for 
Lisbon by Oporto. It will be an exceedingly 
interesting journey as, not being able yet to ride, he 
goes in a carriage as far as San Joao da Pesqueira 
(vide the map), and from thence down the Douro, 
which is beautiful, to Oporto, and from thence in 


some ship of war to Lisbon. The only thing I am 
sorry for is not seeing Segovia or Madrid. 

Extract from Letter to Sister. 

(?) Salamanca, Sept. 2nd> 1812. 

We leave this to-morrow morning for Porto on 
our way to Lisbon. We go down the Douro, 
which at this time of year is quite beautiful, and I 
think altogether this jaunt promises to be very 
pleasant, and, if the sea voyage agrees with me, 
and that the Marshal remains any time at Lisbon, 
you must not be astonished if I pay you a visit for 
three weeks or a month, but this is a great secret 
yet. Say nothing about it to anybody, till I see 
how things are, when we arrive at Lisbon, as 
everything must depend upon that. The Marshal 
and myself are again upon excellent terms. We 
have great battles sometimes, but they never last 
very long. . . . 

Of Public news I have not a word to send you. 
The enemy have evacuated Zamora, and are pre- 
paring to retire again on any motion of Lord 
Wellington's towards Burgos. 

Of the six divisions which formerly composed 
that Army of Portugal (Marmont's) it has „ now 
only 3 Divns. commanded by Foy, Maucune, and 
Clausel. The latter commands ad interim till 
Bonnet recovers from his wounds. Marmont has 
asked for leave to return to France for the recovery 
of his health. His wounds are of a very bad 
nature. The whole army is of about 15,000 men 

298 SALAMANCA [1812 

(out of 42,000) and about 1700 Cavalry, and do not 
seem at all inclined to fight against English honour 
and glory again. King Joseph is at Valencia. 
Lord William [Bentinck] at Madrid, but some of our 
Divisions have moved towards the Douro to drive the 
enemy further back. They will retire, I am sure, as 
soon as these seem to advance in earnest. We are 
in hourly expectation of hearing that the enemy have 
raised the siege of Cadiz and have abandoned 
Andalusia. Everything seemed to indicate their 
intention of doing so. And we have a proclamation 
of Souk's, in which he avows it, and endeavours to 
console the Spaniards for his absence, and promises 
to return as soon as he can, good natured soul ! 

I have just seen the garrison of Guadalaxara 
marched in. About 800 men, a great part renegade 
Spaniards, and in most miserable plight, as their 
better countrymen have plundered them of every- 
thing, and I don't pity them. I hate a traitor 
worse than a Frenchman. There is a General with 
them and some field Officers, etc., etc. 



Abrantes, 41, 77, 79, 89, 213 
Abrantes, Marquez de, 38 
Acland, his brigade at Ramsgate, 

1 ; at Porto Novo, 18 ; at the 

battle of Vimiero, 31 
Adaja river, 275, 281, 282 
Adam, Captain, of H.M.S. Resis- 
tance, 2 ; his appearance, 3 
Adamson, Mr, 16 
Agueda, 117, 148, 246, 248 ; bridges 

across the, 134, 136 ; crossing 

the, 258 
Alaejos, 274, 285 
Alba de Tormes, defeat at, 45 
Alberca, 158 

Albuera, 268 ; battle of, 179, 186 
Albuquerque, 257 
Albuquerque, Duke of, 58 ; at 

Cadiz, 109 
Alcobaca, 18 
Aldea Nueva, 263 
Aldea Nueva de Figueroa, 271 
Aldea Rubia, 264 
Aldea Seca, 292 
Alemtejo, insurrection in, 18 ; 

frontier of, 116 
Alfaiates, 140, 248, 252 
Algardon, fords of, 143 
Algarve brigade, 61, 97 
Alhandra, 172 
Allen, Captain, wounded and taken 

prisoner at the battle of Tala- 

vera, 69 
Allen, Maj.-gen. Victor, wounded at 

the battle of Salamanca, 290, 293 


Almaraz, 69, 70 ; bridge over the, 
destroyed, 220 ; victory at, 254 ; 
number of killed and wounded, 

Almeida, 41, 137, 246, 248 ; siege 

of, 103, 117, 155, 179, 218; 

journey to, 139- 141 ; surrender 

of, 162, 166 ; escape of the 

French, 179 
Almendralejo, 232 
Alorna, Marquez d', 149, 166 
Alumeda, 142, 143, 146, 148 
Alva de Tormes, 286 
Alvez, Pedro, 54, 55, 60, 82, 93 
Amarante, attack on, 61 
Amazon, the, 55, 59 
America, invasion of the Spanish 

colonies in, 1 
Amoral, Captain Julio Cassar d', 

killed at the siege of Badajos, 


Ancede, 62 

Andalusia, 22, 251, 298; invasion 
of, 103, 109 

Anderson, Lieut., wounded at the 
battle of Talavera, 69 

Anstruther, his brigade at Har- 
wich, 1 ; at Porto Novo, 18 

Aragon, 223 

Archer, Mrs William, 23 

Archibald, W., 34 

Archidiacono, 263 

Arcobispo, bridge of, 69, 70, 71, 

Aremberg, Prince d', at Lisbon, 210 



Arenschild, Captain, at Coimbra, 

Arilez, Colonel d', 154 
Army, new regulations for the, 

Aronca, 102, 107 
Arroio del Molino, prisoners taken 

at, 210 
Astorga, 272 ; fall of, 103, 123 ; 

fort at, besieged, 282 
Asturias, the, 223, 266, 268 
Atalaya, 157 
Austria, peace with France, 45, 96, 

Avanilla, 46 

Avelans da Ribeira, 158 
Azara river, 141, 142 

Badajos, 22, 89 ; French advance 

on, no; siege of, 178, 179, 219, 

229, 231-241 ; raised, 179, 185 ; 

number of killed and wounded, 

219, 233, 234, 237, 243, 245 ; 

capture of, 241-247 ; in a state of 

defence, 251 
Baird, Sir David, at Corunna, 43 ; 

at Mayorga, 43 ; loss of his arm 

at the battle of Corunna, 50 
Balgonie, Lord, 197 
Ball, a charity, 13, 15 
Ballasteros, defeated in the Sierra 

Morena, 120; enters Seville, 

248 ; advance to, 251 
Baltic, the, 2 
Banos, pass of, 71, 75 
Barceiros, Captain, killed at the 

siege of Badajos, 239 
Barcelona, 41 
Barcilha, 147 
Barcinha, 79 
Barclay, Lieut. -col., wounded at the 

battle of Coa, 154 
Barfieur y H.M.S., 44 
Barretto, Major, of artillery, his 

treachery, 166, 167 
Bath, 52 

Bayonne, no 

Beira, the, 116 

Bejar mountains, 260 

Belem, 169 

Bell, John, 127 

Benevente, 203 

Benito, John, 55, 63, 256 

Bentinck, Lord William, at 
Madrid, 298 

Bernardo, Fre, 121 

Beresford, Marshal, 19 ; at the 
battle of Corunna, 44 ; at Ply- 
mouth, 44 ; appointed com- 
mander-in-chief of the Portu- 
guese army, 44 ; retreat towards 
Salvaterra, 72 ; his discipline of 
the Portuguese army, 78, 89, 100, 
128 ; at Torres Novas, 97 ; treat- 
ment by both Governments, 100 ; 
tour of the Northern Province, 
102 ; reception at Oporto, 106 ; 
characteristics, 106 ; at Arouca, 
107; Vizeu, 119; knighted, 169; 
recaptures Campo Mayor and 
Olivenga, 178; lays siege to 
Badajos, 178, 179, 219, 231 ; at 
Albuera, 179; effect on his 
health of the siege of Badajos, 
180 ; improved health, 190, 196 ; 
approbation of his country, 190 ; 
at Lisbon, 192 ; Cintra, 195 ; 
title of Count of Francozo, 201 ; 
attack of low fever, 206, 210, 213 ; 
wounded at the battle of Sala- 
manca, 221, 284, 285, 288, 291 ; 
at Nava del Rey, 274 ; La Seca, 

Bertie, Mr, 277 

Bessieres, detachments from, 179 

Bettrao, Fre Bernardo, 29, 39 

Blake, General, defeated at 
Grenada, 204 

Bodmin, 177 

Bonnet, in the Asturias, 266, 268 ; 
wounded at the battle of Sala- 
manca, 293 



Borde, de la, 18 

Bouverie, Captain, of the Medusa, 

Bowes, General, at the battle of 

Vimiero, 31 ; wounded at the 

siege of Badajos, 243, 246 ; killed 

at the siege of Salamanca, 267 
Braave, the, 182 
Bradford, Captain, killed at the 

battle of Rolica, 24 
Braga, 60 
Braganza, 121, 157 
Brennier, General, taken prisoner 

at the battle of Vimiero, 27, 35 ; 

his escape from the siege of 

Almeida, 179 
Brest fleet, escape from, 54 
Bron, General, 210 
Brown, Colonel, 25 
Brown, Major, 89 
Brown, H., 123 
Brown, John, 216 
Bucellas, 172 
Buenos Ayres, 28 
Buonaparte, King Joseph. See 

Burgh, Captain, 168 
Burgos, 272 ; defeat at, 43 
Burrard, Sir Harry, 17 ; his action 

after the battle of Vimiero, 19 
Bussaco, 104 ; number of killed at, 

Butler, James, 55 

Cabeca, Vellozo, 286 

Caceres, 232, 257, attack on, 117 

Cadiz, 2, 6, 109 ; siege of, 103, 109, 

295, 298 
Calbaraza de Ariba, 286 
Calvert, General, 5 
Campbell, Augustus, 156 
Campbell, John, 114, 164, 228 
Campbell, Robert, at the siege of 

Badajos, 241 
Campbell, W., 144 
Campbell, Lieut.-col., 116 

Campo Mayor, 180, 186 ; recap- 
tured, 178; reconnaissance on, 

Canizal, 285 

Carpio, 142 

Carrera, General, 143 

Carriere, wounded and taken 
prisoner at the battle of Sala- 
manca, 293 

Carvalhoo or Carvalhal, 155 

Casal Eschin, 171 

Castanhos, General, his army, 22, 
23 ; march on Madrid, 22 ; 
character, 186 

Castello Branco, 73, 75, yy y 79, 140, 

Castille, 69, 71, 76, 220 

Castillejos de Morisco, 262 

Castlereagh, Lord, 229 

Castrejon, 285 

Castrello, 285 

Castrillo, 271 

Castro, Principe al, 38 

Catalonia, 187 

Catano, St, Fort of, 269 

Caxias, 195 

Celorico, 120, 124, 131, 134 

Cereal, 18 

Chariot, General, taken prisoner at 
the battle of Vimiero, 27 

Chasse au Sanglier y 252 

Chaves, 57 

Christopher's Fort, St, 232, 239, 

Christoval de la Cuesta, St, 262 
Cintra, Convention of, 19 ; result, 

36 ; climate, 195 
Ciudad Rodrigo, no, 123, 246, 

248 ; siege of, 58, 120, 133, 134, 

136, 148, 179, 196, 198, 222-226 ; 

taken, 103, 218, 223 ; march 

on, 127 ; explosions at, 137 ; 

defence, 151 ; number of killed 

and wounded at, 224 
Clare, Lord, at Lisbon, 201 ; Cintra, 




Clauzel, wounded at the battle of 

Salamanca, 293 ; in command, 

Clinton, his attack on the Forts 

at Salamanca, 262 
Coa, the, 139, 140, 246, 248 ; battle 

of, 103, 154; number of killed 

and wounded at, 154 ; allied army 

withdraws to, 179 
Coimbra, 40, 77 , 89, 115, 213, 222 ; 

advance on, 173 
Colbourne, Colonel, wounded at 

the taking of Ciudad Rodrigo, 

Cole, General, wounded at the 

battle of Salamanca, 290, 293 
Coleman, Brig. -general, his death 

and funeral, 217 
Colquhoun, Sir George, killed at 

the siege of Salamanca, 267 
Colville, General, at the siege of 

Badajos, 242 ; wounded, 243, 

Commons, House of, result of 

debates in, 118 
Conception, Fort, 141, 143 
Condado de Niebla, 232 
Connell, Lieut., killed at the siege 

of Badajos, 237 
Conqueror, the, 54 
Cordova, supplies from, 160 
Coria, 70, 72 
Cork, 2, 5 

Corn, Indian, price of, 137 
Corunna, 43, retreat on, 44 ; battle 

of, 44, 50 ; number of killed and 

wounded, 54 
Cotton, Captain, 148 
Cotton, Sir C, his victory in the 

Mediterranean, 187 
Cotton, Sir Stapleton, wounded at 

the battle of Salamanca, 290, 

Cove, 8 
Covilhao, 249 
Cowell, 228, 233 ; his illness, 295 

Cox, General, Governor of Almeida, 
140; besieged, 159; forced to 
surrender, 166 

Crawford, General, 14 ; on board 
H.M.S. Resistance, 7 ; in com- 
mand at Niza, 80 

Crawfurd, General, at the battle of 
the Coa, 103 ; at Gallegos, 139, 
^41 ; wounded at the taking of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, 224 

Crawfurd, Robert, killed at the 
taking of Ciudad Rodrigo, 218 

Creagh, Captain, killed at the 
battle of Coa, 154 

Croft, Fred., 59 

Croft, Jack, his kindness to W. 
Warre, 169 ; at Sobral, 174 

Croft, John, 108, 1 1 1 

Cuesta, General, 53, 58, 61 ; his 
bad order of battle, 62 ; at the 
battle of Talavera, abandons the 
wounded, 69, 74 ; removed, 74 

Currie, Major, 255 

Custine, 65, 101 

Cuthbert, Captain, killed at the 
siege of Badajos, 234 

D'Aeth, appointed Acting Com- 
mander of the Eclipse, 34 

Dalrymple, Sir Hew, in command 
of the force, 17, 19 

Dance, Colonel, at the battle of 
Talavera, 69 

Dawson, Lieut. R., killed at the 
battle of Roli$a, 24 

Dawson, 225 ; at the siege of 
Badajos, 243 

Day, The, newspaper, 190 

De Febre, Colonel, 123 

Delaney, Colonel, 89, 93 

Delaware, Lord, at Lisbon, 201 ; 
Cintra, 204 

Digby, Captain, 181 

Diligent, gun-brig, 56 

Dobbs, killed at the taking of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, 225 



Doidga, Count, 149 

Domingos, Dr, 198, 212 

Donegal, the, 29 

Douglas, Captain, at the siege of 

Badajos, 241 
Douglas, Colonel, 52 
Douro river, 89, 140, 220, 258, 259, 

271, 274, 275, 280, 284, 296, 297, 

Drake, Captain, wounded at the 

battle of Talavera, 69 
Drouet, expedition against, 240 ; 

retires from Villa Franca, 272 
Duckworth, Sir John, 54 
Dundas, Sir David, 89, 93, 126 
Dundas, Captain, wounded at the 

siege of Badajos, 239 
Dupont, capitulates, 22 
Dutch, wounded in the Guelder- 

land, 16 

Earthquake at Lisbon, 92 

Eastley End, 156 

Eclipse, the, 34 

El Bodon, action of, 179 

Elder, Lieut.-col., 143 ; at the 

battle of Coa, 1 54 
Elliot, Major, his treatise on the 

defence of Portugal, 171 
Ellis, Captain, of the Spitfire, 181 
Elvas, 41, 89, 111,185, 186, 219,226 
Encina, 286 

Enxara dos Cavaleiros, 171 
Erfurth, Treaty of, 43 
Espanha, Don Carlos d', 262 ; at 

Polios, 275 
EsperanQa, Convent of the, 113 
Espino, Val d', 136 
Espinosa, defeat at, 43 
Espiritu, St, 120, 258 
Estrella mountain, 131 
Estremadura, 223 
Ewart, 225 ; wounded at the battle 

of Vimiero, 27 ; at the siege of 

Badajos, 240 
Exeter, 177 

Falmouth, 104, 175, 177 

Fane, General, 14 ; on board 
H.M.S. Resistance, 7 ; at the 
battle of Talavera, 70 

Farmer, 235 

Ferguson, General, 14 ; embarks 
at Portsmouth, 2 ; his character- 
istics, 11 ; at the battle of 
Vimiero, 26, 31 ; gallantry and 
judgment, 33 ; return to England, 
36 ; at Lisbon, 273 ; at the battle 
of Salamanca, 292 

Ferguson, Mrs, 59 

Fermoy, 10 

Fernesen, 133 

Figueira, 17, 21 

Finisterre, Cape, 54 

Fiorenzo, the, 182 

Fitzgerald, Mr, at Cintra, 204 

Fletcher, Lieut.-col., wounded at 
the siege of Badajos, 234 

Flushing, expedition to, 105 

Foncastin, 280 

Forgas, his characteristics, 207 

Formidable, 133 

Fornos d'Algodres, 120, 123, 131 

Foy, in command of the French 
army, 297 

France, peace with Austria, 45, 
103 ; reinforcements from, 199 

Francisco, Fort of St, taken, 57 

Francozo, 136 

Frankland, wounded at the battle 
of Talavera, 69 

Frederick, Sir J., 169 

Freixedas, 140, 156, 166 

Frejenal, 232 

French army, number of, taken or 
destroyed, 22 ; massacred, 23 ; 
defeated in the action at Rolica, 
24 ; Vimiero, 26-28, 30-35 ; 
number of killed and wounded at, 
27, 34, 168 ; evacuate Portugal, 
42 ; at Saldanha, 47 j take 
Oporto, 56; re-enter Castille, 



76 ; defeated at Tamames, 90 ; 
invasion of Andalusia, 102, 109 ; 
advance on Badajos, 1 10 ; 
defeated at Caceres and Valverde, 
117; advance on Ciudad Rodrigo, 
120; deserters from, 121, 127, 
136, 148, 157; number of sick, 
127 ; number of, besieging 
Ciudad Rodrigo, 134; sickness, 
138, 158; attack at Coa, 154; 
preparations for the siege of 
Almeida, 156; defeated at 
Ladoeiro, 164 ; sick and wounded 
taken prisoners, 173 ; defeated 
at the battle of Albuera, 179, 186 ; 
prisoners, 210; reinforcements, 
211, 263 ; movements, 219, 264 ; 
defence of Badajos, 245 ; en- 
trenchments, 246 ; advance on 
Salamanca, 263 ; number of 
killed at the battle, 290, 293 ; 
retreat towards Madrid, 293 

Fuenta da Capefia, 271 

Fuente La Pefia, 285 

Fuente Sanco, 271 

Fuentes d'Onoro, battle of, 179 

Fuentes Guinaldo, 197, 250, 252 

Fundao, 249 

G ALICIA, 43 ; insurrection in, 57 

Gallegos, 120, 134, 139, 143, 146, 223 

Gata pass, 70 

Gaveon, 79 

Geary, Captain, killed at the battle 
of Roliga, 24 

George, St, 133 

Gibbs, 225 ; wounded at the siege 
of Badajos, 243, 248 

Gibbs, Mrs, 225 

Gordon, Major, 225 

Graham, General, Sir J., at the 
siege of Badajos, 219; expedi- 
tion against Drouet, 240 ; return 
to Villa Franca, 241 ; at Port- 
alegre, 257 ; his march to 
Salamanca, 258 

Graham, Sir T., disorder in his 
eye, 273, 277 ; leaves for Eng- 
land, 277 

Gravier, wounded and taken 
prisoner at the battle of Sala- 
manca, 293 

Grenada, supplies from, 160; 
defeat at, 204 

Grimes, Lieut., wounded at the 
siege of Badajos, 239 

Guadalajara, passes of, 294 

Guadiana, the, 188, 219, 231, 239 

Gualalaxara, garrison of, 298 

Guaratte, 271 

Guarda, 66, 124, 134, 160 

Guarena river, 271, 285 

Guelderlandy capture of the, 16 

HARDlNGE, 139, 146 ; shot through 
his coat at the siege of Badajos, 

Hardy, Captain, 133 

Harvey, General, wounded at the 
siege of Badajos, 246 

Harwich, 2 

Hay, Leith, wounded at the battle 
of Salamanca, 293 

Hendon, 14, 102 

Herreros, fords at, 281 

Hill, General, 14 ; in command at 
Fermoy, 10 ; his corps march to 
Elvas, in ; on the Frontier of 
Alemtejo, 116; at Portalegre, 
120 ; at the siege of Badajos, 219 

Hill, Sir Rowland, his success at 
Almaraz, 254 ; at Albuera, 268 

Honiton, 104, 117 

Hope, Sir John, 42 

Houston, General, 200 

How, Mr Samuel, 52 

Howard, Capt., wounded at the 
battle of Talavera, 69 

Huebra, 258 

Hull, Captain, wounded at the 
battle of Coa, 154 

Hunt, at the siege of Badajos, 243 



Imaz surrenders Badajos, 178 
Infantado, Duke of, 53 
Instructions for Light Infantry, 

translation of, 97, 108 
Ireland, troops assembled in, 1 

Jackson, 295 

Jago, St, 49 

James's Naval History, 16 note 

Johns, St, Fort of, seized, 57 

Johnstone, Hon. A. C, 165 

Jones, killed at the siege of 

Badajos, 243 
Joseph, King, his invasion of 
Andalusia, 103 ; number of his 
army in Spain, 159 ; his attempt 
to resign his Crown, 179 ; at 
Madrid, 219; advance to rein- 
force Marmont, 292 ; at Valencia, 
Julians, St, 195 

Junot, Marshal, number of troops 
commanded by him, 18, 22 ; 
attack on, 22 ; at the battle of 
Rolica, 25 ; at Vimiero, 27 ; 
besieges Ciudad Rodrigo, 149 ; 
encamps near Sobral, 173 

Kellerman, 160 

Kemp, General, wounded at the 

siege of Badajos, 246 
Kingston, 3 
Knox, Mr, 1 1 1 
Knox, Captain, of the Fiorenzo, 

Konigsberg, 283 
Kranckenberg, Captain, 142 

Laborde, General, in command 
at the battle of Roliga, 25 ; 
wounded, 25 ; at the battle of 
Vimiero, 27 

Lacebo, 68 

Lacerda, 101 

Lacerda, Antonio de, wounded at 

the battle of Salamanca, 293 
Ladoeiro, attack at, 164 
Laffoes, Duchess of, her death, 

Lagiosa, 156 
Lake, Colonel, killed at the battle 

of Rolica, 24 
Lamego, Convent at, 45, flight of 

the nuns, 62 
Larza, 77 
Launceston, 177 
Lavos, Camp, 21 
Le Mesurier, Colonel, Governor 

of Almeida, 248 ; repulses Mar- 
mont, 248 
Ledesma, evacuation of, 256 
Leinster, Duke of, at Lisbon, 201 ; 

Cintra, 204 
Leith, General, 208 ; at the siege 

of Badajos, 233, 242 ; his march 

to Salamanca, 258 ; wounded at 

the battle of Salamanca, 290, 

291, 293 
Lemos, Brigadier, sent to Rio de 

Janeiro, 198 
Ligori, Captain, wounded, 163 
Linhares, Count, 198, 207 
Lisbon, 18, 44, 53 ; earthquake, 

92; storms, 112; hoax at, 214- 

Loison, General, 18 ; at the battle 

of Vimiero, 27 ; at Zezere, 

Longa, intercepts mail from Pans, 

Loring, Captain, of the Niobe, 

Los Royos, 71 
Los Santos, 232 
Lourigal, Marquis and Marchioness 

of, 99, 114 
Lourinhao, 24 

Lugo, 44, 48 ; retreat from, 50 
Lutyens, taken prisoner, 188 



Ma^edo, Senhor Manoel, 39 

Maceira river, 18 

M'Kay, wounded at the battle of 
Vimiero, 35 

M'Lean, Major, at the siege of 
Badajos, 237 

M'Leod, Major, at the siege of 
Badajos, 239 

M'Minnon, General, killed at the 
taking of Ciudad Rodrigo, 224 

Madden, killed at the siege of 
Badajos, 243 

Madrid, 43, 53, 223, 297 ; march 
on, 22 ; disturbances in, 160 

Mafra, positions at, 170 

Malcato, 249 

Malcolm, Captain, 15 

Mango Aide, 119 

Mantzoro, Madame, 40 

Maps of Spain and Portugal, 116, 

Marchand, General, at Salamanca, 
77 ; defeated at Tamames, 90 

Marchant, General le, 194 ; at 
Cintra, 204 ; killed at the battle 
of Salamanca, 221, 290, 293 

Marialva, 134, 141 

Marmont, Marshal, in command 
of the army of Portugal, 
179 ; advance to relieve Ciudad 
Rodrigo, 179; threatens it, 219 ; 
evacuates Salamanca, 220, 259 ; 
retires behind the Douro, 220 ; 
wounded at the battle of Sala- 
manca, 221, 289, 290, 293, 297 ; 
threatens Almeida, 246, 248 ; 
retreat across the Agueda, 249 ; 
result of his advance, 249 ; 
sufferings of his army, 250 ; 
advance on Salamanca, 262 ; 
crosses the Tormes, 265 ; retire- 
ment, 271 ; crosses the Douro, 
284 ; at the battle of Salamanca, 
Martha, Sta., ford of, 265 
Martin, d'El Rio, 258 

Martin, Admiral, 273 

Massena, in command of the 
French army, 127, 130, 132 ; 
besieges Ciudad Rodrigo, 149 ; 
defeated at Busaco, 172 ; retires 
from Santarem, 178 ; reinforce- 
ments, 179 

Maucune, 297 

Mayhew, Mr, 9 

Mayorga, 43 

Medellin, 256 ; battle of, 61 

Medina del Campo, 274, 280 

Mediterranean Sea, victory in the, 

Medusa, the, 1 8 1 

Mellish, Captain, Aide-de-Camp 
to Major-general Ferguson, 2 ; 
studies Spanish, 10 

Mello, Pedro de, 38 

Merida, 61, 232, 234 

Merry, wounded at the siege of 
Badajos, 243 ; death, 248 

Mesao Frio, 62 

Milman, wounded at the battle of 
Talavera, 70, 75 

Miller, General, advance on 
Coimbra, 173 

Mina, action of, 193 

Minas, Marquez das, 38 

Minho, skirmishing on the, 53 

Minucal, 136 

Mirabete, 255 

Miranda, 220 

Misquetella, Viscondessa de, 1 1 1 

Molloy, 295 

Mondego Bay, 17, 18 ; river, 131 

Monte Rey, 53 

Montemor Velho, price of Indian 
corn at, 137 

Moore, Sir John, 17, 19; ordered 
to Portugal, 2 ; in command of 
the troops, 42 ; at Salamanca, 
43 ; Mayorga, 43 ; his retreat 
on Corunna, 44 ; death of, 44, 

Moralega, 72 



Morilho, the Spanish general, 233 

Morisco, 263, 264 

Morrera, 264 

Mortier, at Zamora, 77 

Mostyn, Lieut., 5 

Mulcaster, Captain, killed at the 

siege of Badajos, 237 
Mulgrave, Lord, 190 
Muradal, passes of, 89 
Murphy, Major, 139 

Na. Senora de la Pena, 286 
Napier, George, loss of an arm at 

the taking of Ciudad Rodrigo, 

Napoleon, at Madrid, 43 ; his 

advance, 44 ; return to Paris, 

54 ; at Konigsberg, 283 
Nava, 248, 285 
Nava del Rey, 274, 280 
Naves d'Haves, 165 
Naylor, W., 55 
New Castille, 139 
Ney, Marshal, his return to France, 

90 ; besieges Ciudad Rodrigo, 

149 ; encamps near Sobral, 173 
Nightingale, Brigade-General, 14 
Niobe, the, 60 
Niza, 79 
Norge, the, 54 
Nutt, Colonel, killed at the battle 

of Coa, 154 

Oakhampton, 177 

Obidos, 24 

Ocana, defeat at, 45 ; rout at, 

96, 99 
O'Donnel, General, at Albuquerque, 

Olaia, St, 180 
Oliveira, Governor of Oporto, 

assassinated, 57 
Oliveira, Cornet Raymundo, 164 
Olivenca, no; recaptured, 178 
Oman, 43 note, 166 note 

Oniel, Senhor Carlos, 40 

Oporto, 296 ; taken by the French, 

45, 56, 60 ; retaken by Sir A. 

Wellesley, 45 ; insubordination 

at, 56, 60 ; Wine Company at, 

205, 209, 212 
Orbada, 271 
Otter, Captain, 89, 93 
Ovar, 20 ; French post at, 62 

Pajares, 271 

Pakenham, Major-general, 144, 

147 ; at the battle of Salamanca, 

Palmela, 85 
Pampeluna, 149, 166 
Parada de Rubiales, 271 
Paris to Madrid mail intercepted, 

Parque, Duque del, his victory at 

Tamames, 90 ; his army dis- 
perses in a panic, 100 
Patrick, Major, wounded, 61 
Patton, Captain, 182, 183 
Payne, General, 8, 13, 117 
Payo, Conde de St, 38 
Pays, Colonel, in command of the 

1st Portuguese Cavalry, at the 

battle of Coa, 155 
Peacock, the, 55 
Pena Maior, 250 
Penafiel, occupied, 62 
Penazanda, 289 
Peniche, 18, 24 

Peninsular War, first combat, 18 
Perales pass, 70 
Petersburg, St, 9 note 
Philippon, General, Governor of 

Badajos, taken prisoner, 243 
Picorina, Fort, 234 
Picton, General, 234 ; at the siege 

of Badajos, 242, 246 ; his march 

to Salamanca, 258 
Pinhel, 134, 139, 140, 148 ; Bishop 

of, 139 
Pitiegna, 271, 286 



Placencia, 69, 77 

Plover, the, 36 

Plymouth, 44, 5 1 

Polios, 275, 280 

Ponte de Lima occupied, 62 

Poole, killed at the siege of 
Badajos, 243 

Portalegre, 120, 257 

Port Mahon, 180, 181, 183 

Porto, Bishop of, 38 

Porto Novo, 18 

Porto Roads, 17, 19 

Portsmouth, 2, 180 

Portugal, troops ordered to, 1 ; 
character of the Government, 
38, 186 ; decrees, 38 ; evacuated 
by the French, 42 ; map of, 116, 
122 ; translation on the Defence 
of, 174 

Portuguese army, number of men, 
23 ; their character, 28, 78, 239 ; 
organisation, 44, 45, 48 ; at 
Monte Rey, 53 ; insubordination, 
56 ; training, 63 ; improved dis- 
cipline, 100, 101, 104, 115; 
enlistments, in ; pay, 115; at 
the battle of Coa, 154, 155 ; 
noble behaviour, 168, 170 ; 
relations with the English 
troops, 174 ; heroism and 
gallantry at the taking of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, 225 ; at the 
siege of Badajos, 239 

Prince, Jack, 70 

Prior, 97 

Puebla de Senabria, 160 

Puente de Douro, 282 

Puerto de Banos, 203 

Ramsgate, 2 

Rankin, 4 ; tried by Court Martial, 

45> 9°» 94 ; detected in stealing, 

79, 80 ; executed, 94, 95 
Regnier, his attack on Salvaterra, 

155 ; encamped near the Tagus, 


Regnioux, General, Governor of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, taken prisoner, 

Resistance, H.M.S., 2 ; at Cork, 2 ; 
officers take part in a play, 9 

Resolution, 133 

Rio de Janeiro, 198 

Rio Seco, 62 

Rolica, battle of, 18, 24; killed 
and wounded, 24 

Romana, Marquez de la, his force, 
53 ; at Badajos, no 

Romanzow, 284 

Romulus, the, 182 

Ross, Colonel, 134, 164 ; his ill- 
ness, 176 

Rosslyn, Lord, 9 

Rowan, Captain, 144 

Royds, 225 

Rueda, 280 ; skirmish at, 274 

Russell, D. W., wounded at the 
battle of Talavera, 69 

Russia, 9 note j policy, 199 ; con- 
dition of the army, 283 

Sabugal, 140, 248, 250 ; combat 
of, 178 

Sahagun, combat of, 43 ; retreat 
from, 48 

Salamanca, 43, 77, 258 ; number 
of French in, 127 ; evacuated, 
220 ; battle of, 220, 284-294 ; 
number of killed and wounded, 
221, 270, 285, 289, 293 ; siege of, 
258-269 ; destruction, 260 ; attack 
on the forts, 262 ; surrender, 269- 
271 ; explosion, 283 ; prisoners, 
289, 293 

Salamonde, passes of, 60 

Saldafia, 41, 43 

Salteros, 71 

Salvaterra, 71, 155 

San Joao da Pesqueira, 296 

San Menios, 258 

Sanchez, Don Julian, 262 ; takes 
General Regnioux prisoner, 208 



Sancos Mezende, 149 

Santarem, 18, 41, 79, 178 

Santo Cildes, in command of the 
Galician army at Astorga, 271 ; 
besieges the fort, 282 

Sarzedas, 164 

Sebola, 69 

Seca, La, 274 

Segovia, 297 

Seville, 219, 246, 248, 251 

Sewell, his illness, 252, 257 ; return 
home, 257 

Seymour, Colonel, at the battle of 
Talavera, 69 

Shaw, Captain, 148 

Sheridan, Sir W., wounded at the 
battle of Talavera, 70 

Shrapnell, Major, his invention of 
new shells, 34 

Siabra, Lucas, 39 

Sierra Morena, 53, 120, 248 

Silveira, 57 ; attack on, 61 

Simancas, 281 

Slade, General, 162 

Sobrado, 48 

Sobral, 172, 173 

Somerset, Lord Fitzroy, at the 
siege of Badajos, 243 

Soult, Marshal, 298 ; at Saldana, 
43 ; takes Oporto, 45 ; at Coria, 
77 ; invests Badajos, 178 ; 
advance to relieve Badajos, 179, 
219, 246; reconnaissance on 
Campo Mayor, 188 ; retreat, 
248 ; in Andalusia, 251 ; advance 
on Salamanca, 268 

Souza, Captain, 68 

Spain, maps of, 116 

Spaniards, their revolt against the 
French, 1 ; enmity to the French, 
74, 96, 113, 203,204; sufferings 
of the peasants, 145 ; plan of en- 
listing in the British army, 256 ; 
reception of the army, 259 ; joy 
at the deliverance from the 
French, 272 

Spanish army, neglect of the, 37 ; 
defeated at Burgos, 43 ; victory 
at Tamames, 45, 91 ; defeated at 
Ocana and Alba de Tormes, 45 ; 
advance on Madrid, 53 ; treat- 
ment of the British army, 69, 
73 ; causes of their defeat, 99 ; 
attack on Caceres and Valverde, 

Spencer, General, in command of 
the troops at Cadiz, 2, 14 ; his 
arrival at Camp Lavos, 22 ; at 
the battle of Vimiero, 26 

Spitfire i 180, 181 

Stag, merchant vessel, 177 

Stanhope, Major, 169 

Stanhope, Mr, in 

Stately, 133 

Stewart, General, 129 

Stockholm, 9 

Stuart, Mr, 228 

Stuart, Col., wounded at the battle 
of Rolica, 24 ; his death, 28, 33 

Sutton, Lieut.-col., at Fort Con- 
ception, 141 

Sweden, 9 note 

Sydenham, Mr, 182, 183 

Tagus, the, 22, 58, 70, 89, 172, 

250 ; chart of the, 129 
Talavera, battle of, 45, 68 ; number 

of killed and wounded, 69, 74 
Tamames, victory at, 45, 120, 258 ; 

battle of, 90 ; number of killed 

at, 91 
Tancos, 79 
Tangier bay, 6 
Tarragona, fall of, 194 
Taylor, Colonel, killed at the battle 

of Vimiero, 32 
Teson, redoubt on the, taken, 218 
Thomar, 59, 77, 97, 213 
Thornier, 53 ; wounded at the 

battle of Salamanca, 293 
Thomond, Lieut., 9 



Thomson, Major, killed at the 

siege of Badajos, 237 
Tordesillas, 274, 281, 284 
Tormes, 259, 265, 286 ; bridge 

over the, 220 
Toro, 77, 259, 263, 280, 284 ; 

bridge, 271 
Torre de Mouro, 185, 186 
Torrecilla, 274 
Torrecilla de la Orden, 285 
Torrens, Colonel, 14 
Torres Novas, 97, 221 
Torres Vedras, 18,172; retreat to, 1 04 
Torresilla de la Abadessa, 281 
Toulon, 187 
Trabancos, river, 274 
Trant, Colonel, 62 ; advance on 

Coimbra, 173 ; repulses Mar- 

mont, 248 
Truxillo, 257 
Tudela, defeat at, 43 
Turner, W., 184 
Tuy, surrounded, 58 

Ubes, St, 85 

Urban, Colonel d 5 , 116, 271 ; at 

the battle of Medellin, 61 ; of 

Salamanca, 290 
Urbina, his advance on Madrid, 85 

Val de la Mula, 144 

Valenca de Tuy, occupied, 62 

Valencia, 298 

Valladolid, 160, 266, 271, 272, 281 ; 

French concentrate at, 275 
Vallados, 79 
Vallesa, La, 286 
Valliadacen, Marquez de, 53 
Valmaza, 258 
Valverde, attack at, 117 
Van Diest, 85 
Vandeleur, General, wounded at the 

taking of Ciudad Rodrigo, 224 
Veia ford, 140 
Verlet, General, at the siege of 

Badajos, 334 

Vesey, 235 

Vianna, occupied, 62 

Vicente, St, Convent of, 258 ; 

attack on, 269 
Villa Escusa, 269, 274, 276 
Villa Formosa, 211, 213 
Villa Franca, 18, 241, 246, 248 ; 

French retire from, 272 
Villa Nueva, 282 
Villa de Porco, 147 
Villa Verde, 274 
Villa Vicosa, 226 
Villar de Ciervo, 148 
Villar de la Egoa, 148 
Villiers, Mr, 60, 92 
Vimiero, battle of, 18, 25-28, 30-34 ; 

anniversary of the battle, 161 
Vincente, St, 186 
Vittoria, 193 
Vizeu, 77, 119 
Vouga, the, 62 

Walker, General, wounded at the 
siege of Badajos, 243, 246 

Walsingham packet, 176 

Warre, A. E., letters from, 168-17 1 

Warre, Clara, takes the veil, 45 ; 
at the Convent at Lamego, 45 ; 
takes refuge at Ancede, 62 ; visit 
from her brother, 107 ; order 
obtained to remove her to the 
Convent of the Esperan^a, 113 ; 
refuses to quit the Convent, 121, 
125 ; attack of fever, 125 ; at 
Oporto, 171 

Warre, James, 9 note 

Warre, Thomas, his escape from 
Russia, 9 ; extracts from his 
letters, 132, 133 

Warre, William, Aide-de-Camp to 
Major-general Ferguson, 2 ; on 
board H.M.S. Resistance, at 
Portsmouth, 3 ; at St Helens, 4 
anxiety about his servant, 4, 45 
destination, 6, 14 ; at Cove, 8 
studies Spanish, 10 ; his wish to 



remain in the 23rd, 10 ; attack 
of fever, 19, 29, 104 ; A.D.C. 
to General Beresford, 19 ; at 
Porto Roads, 19 ; off Ovar, 20; 
disembarkation at Figueira, 21 ; 
life in camp, 23 ; knowledge of 
Portuguese, 23 ; at the battle of 
Rolica, 24 ; Vimiero, 25-28, 30- 
35 ; at Buenos Ayres, Lisbon, 28 ; 
on the result of the Convention of 
Cintra, 36 ; difficulty of removing 
his sister Clara, 45, 82, 86, 87, 
99 ; at Avanilla, 46 ; Sobrado, 
48 ; at the battle of Corunna, 
50 ; at Plymouth, 5 1 ; Lisbon, 
53, 81, 192; Thomar, 60, 97; 
training the Portuguese troops, 
63 ; declines to receive pay, 66, 
82, 88 ; accident to his hand, 68, 
72 ; account of the battle of 
Talavera, 68 ; on the treatment 
of the Spaniards, 72-74, 77 ; at 
Castello Branco, 75 ; leaves 
Spain, 77 ; on the behaviour of 
his servant Rankin, 79, 90, 94 ; 
his claim for losses, 85 ; on his 
expenses, 88, 93, 97 ; experiences 
an earthquake, 92 ; his transla- 
tion of " Instruction for Light 
Infantry," 97, 108 ; invalided 
home, 104, 178 ; tour in the 
Northern Province, 106 ; visit to 
his sister Clara, 107 ; obtains an 
order to remove her, 113; 
compiles a set of regulations for 
the Cavalry, 114; at Coimbra, 
115 ; Mango Aide, 119 ; distress 
at his sister Clara's refusal to 
leave the Convent, 121, 125 ; at 
Fornos d'Algodres, 123; received 
by Lord Wellington, 124, 126; 
at Francozo, 136; visit to the 
nuns, 136; journey to Almeida, 
1 39- 141 ; visits the outposts, 
146-150; speculations on the 
attack of the French, 150; on 

the battle of Coa, 154-156; at 
Lagiosa, 156; Avelans da 
Ribeira, 158 ; on the fall of 
Almeida, 162, 166 ; his illness, 
168, 169, 176; recovery, 171; 
joins the army at Casal Eschin, 
171 ; at Falmouth, 175 ; Honiton, 
177 ; Portsmouth, 180-184 ; St 
Olaia, 184 ; on raising the siege 
of Badajos, 185 ; gazetted Major, 
192 ; on the visit of his father, 
192, 197, 198, 202 ; on the 
climate of Cintra, 195 ; promoted 
Lieut-colonel, 199 ; account of 
the hoax at Lisbon, 214-216 ; at 
Torres Novas, 221 ; Coimbra, 
222 ; at the siege of Ciudad 
Rodrigo, 222-226 ; at Elvas, 226 ; 
his views on the purchase of his 
majority, 229-231, 282; at the 
siege of Badajos, 231-247 ; a- 
Nava, 248 ; Fuente Guinaldo, 
252 ; at a Chasse au Sanglier^ 
252 ; his broken shin, 254, 257 ; 
at the siege of Salamanca, 258, 
271 ; mode of life, 266 ; at the 
Villa Escusa, 269 ; his con- 
fidence in Lord Wellington, 272, 
281 ; at the skirmish of Rueda, 
274 ; at La Seca, 275 ; his view 
of politics, 279 ; at the battle of 
Salamanca, 284-294. 

Waters, 129 

Wellesley, Lieut. -gen. Sir Arthur, 
in command of the troops for 
Portugal, 1, 14 ; at Cork, 2, 5 ; 
sails from Cork, 17 ; fourth in 
command, 17 ; his disposition of 
the forces at the battle of 
Vimiero, 26, 31 ; at Lisbon, 44 ; 
retakes Oporto, 45 ; despatch on 
the battle of Talavera, 68 

Wellesley, Lord, 229, 279 

Wellington, Lord, at Lisbon, 92 ; 
Torres Novas, 97 ; appointed 
Marshal-General and Com- 



mander-in-Chief of the Portu- 
guese army, ioo ; withdrawal of 
his army from Spain, 103 ; in 
Portugal, 103 ; at Celerico, 124, 
126, 134; Francozo, 136; his 
disposition of the troops, 174 ; 
blockades Ciudad Rodrigo, 179, 
196, 218 ; invests Almeida, 179 ; 
his victory of Fuentes d'Onoro, 
179; at St Vincente, 186; title 
of Count of Vimiero, 201 ; attack 
on Badajos, 218, 231, 234; 
enters Castile, 220 ; at Alfaiates, 
252 ; his plan of enlisting the 
Spaniards, 256 ; his secret plans, 
259, 272, 275 ; moves on Rueda, 
274 ; at Villa Verde, 274 ; 
formation of the army at the 
battle of Salamanca, 286 ; 
pursuit of the enemy, 289, 292 

Westmorland^ 180, 184 

Weyland, General, taken prisoner 
at Badajos, 243 

White, Captain, his attack on the 
French at Ladoeiro, 164 

White, Mr, wounded at the battle 
of Salamanca, 292 

Whitelock, General, in command 
of an expedition in America, 1 

Whittingham, appointed Colonel 
in the Spanish service, 23 ; 
Brigadier, 75 ; wounded, 75 

Wilson, Major, wounded at the 
battle of Vimiero, 39 

Wilson, Sir R., his defence of the 
Pass of Bafios, 75 ; his character- 
istics, 122 ; his advance on 
Coimbra, 173 

Yeltes river, 258 
York, Duke of, 187 

Zafra, 232 

Zarnora, 61, 76, 77 ; evacuated, 297 

Zamora bridge, 271 

Zapardiel river, 274 

Zeller, Frank van, 108 

Zezere, 176 


DC Warre, (Sir) William 

232 Letters from the 

W38 Peninsula 



'WW W . Ufr>y^ 55»8» 
9SS 36 $6 & ' • ■•V'S.'V-'vSbBBBb 

PE i iiii ll 

• " ■ 111111 

, ■ . ; -;; ■;■.; j 

HB|||| L[ 

jj{jjflB{fl ':'/."'..', 







||1|§; | i|§§ g 1 1 ^J^g 

SHHS liil